DOMINIC Raab has been accused of failing to understand devolution after apparently making a blunder about the concept at Westminster.

The accusation comes after a PMQs which saw deputy leaders step to the fore.

The UK Government was represented by Raab, who was made Deputy PM in the recent Cabinet reshuffle, while Kirsten Oswald spoke for the SNP, and Angela Rayner for Labour.

Oswald, the SNP’s depute leader at Westminster, asked about a “cost of living tsunami” set to hammer the poorest across Scotland and the UK.

She said: “Millions of families are seeing their incomes slashed by this Tory government. With a toxic combination of Tory cuts, tax rises, and the growing cost of Brexit.”

READ MORE: Five times Dominic Raab was the least prepared Tory in the Cabinet

Oswald raised Boris Johnson’s previous promise that energy bills would be cut after Brexit. This, he claimed, would be done by cutting VAT below the 5% EU threshold. In January, the Treasury said they had “no plans” for such a move.

She also hit out at plans to cut Universal Credit by more than £1000 a year, a “premature” end to the furlough scheme, and the Conservatives’ move to increase National Insurance contributions.

The SNP depute leader labelled the above a “Tory cost of living crisis”.

However, in his response, Raab said: “Can I just say to the honourable lady that many of those issues are devolved to Scotland.”

In fact, the issues raised by Oswald are all reserved.

Raab’s statement caused uproar on the SNP benches.

When Oswald called it a “disappointing and perplexing response”, one SNP MP could be heard to add: “That’s putting it lightly.”

The deputy PM continued with his answer, outlining the benefit payments which exist to help people pay for heating in the colder months, and adding: “But the crucial thing is that we’ve got rising employment and rising wages and that will benefit everyone in Scotland and across the UK.”

Speaking later, Oswald told The National that the Tories seemed to have a thin grasp of devolution.

She said: “The Tories clearly don’t understand or are refusing to acknowledge devolution, which would make sense given their recent actions.

“The Scottish Government is doing what it can with limited powers to put money in people’s pockets, but the Tories at Westminster are doing what they can to take it away again.

“It is only with independence that we can protect Scotland from Tory cuts and secure a strong recovery.”

PMQs also saw Raab face down Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner (below), who consistently attacked him for having been on holiday while Kabul fell.

The National:

Speaking in the Commons, Rayner accused the Government of hitting the pockets of working families by “cutting the income of a worker on £18,000 a year by over £1100” with tax rises.

Rayner said: “That is almost exactly the same as an average annual energy bill. Just as energy prices are ballooning they have chosen to take the money that could cover a year’s worth of bills out of the pockets of working people.

“The Deputy Prime Minister has said the solution is for people to work harder. So, can he tell us how many days a worker on the minimum wage would have to work this year in order to afford a night at a luxury hotel, say in Crete?”

Raab criticised Labour’s economic record before claiming to have saved “every worker” in the UK more than £1000 a year with tax cuts.

Rayner countered: “He talks about the economy, he doesn’t even know how much his own holiday cost.

“So, let me tell him. A worker on the minimum wage would need to work an extra 50 days to pay for a single night at his favourite resort, probably even more if the sea was open.”

Rayner had still more barbs about Raab’s Greek holiday, but failed to secure any of the guarantees she sought.

The Labour MP asked if the Government would cancel the Universal Credit cut, or guarantee that no-one in the UK would be “pushed into fuel poverty this winter”.

Raab said the Universal Credit uplift had always only been temporary, and that “energy supplies will continue”, although he did not mention fuel poverty.

Downing Street has been approached for comment.