BORIS Johnson has been accused of leaving “millions of families in the cold” by failing to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, with 2022 predicted to be the “year of the squeeze”.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the Prime Minister was to blame for the looming difficulties, caused by a “toxic concoction” of Tory cuts, tax hikes, soaring inflation and energy bills.

A recent survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that two-thirds of people said their cost of living has increased in the last month.

Of those, a quarter – 25% – said they were being forced to dip into their savings to cover increased costs, and the same proportion said they had cut back on essentials, including food shopping.

READ MORE: Inflation hits near-decade high in 'wake-up call' for Tory government

Research published by the Resolution Foundation last month warned families were facing a typical income hit of around £1200 a year from April.

The think-tank said the economic impact from Omicron is likely to be short-lived, but 2022 will be the “year of the squeeze” for many households.

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Blackford said: “Boris Johnson is leaving millions of families in the cold this winter by failing to tackle the catastrophic Tory cost of living crisis that has engulfed the UK.

“The Prime Minister bears the blame for this crisis, which has been pounds worse off – unless the Prime Minister urgently gets a grip.”

Blackford called for the UK Government to introduce an emergency package of support, including a low income energy payment, matching the Scottish Child Payment across the UK, raising the minimum wage and statutory sick pay and reversing the £20 a week cut to Universal Credit.

READ MORE: 'Year of the squeeze': UK households face '£1200 hit' as cost of living rises

He added: “The UK already has the worst levels of poverty and inequality in north west Europe. Unless urgent action is taken now, the Tories will push millions more into hardship and poverty.

“There is no time to waste,” he added.

Concern over the rising cost of living includes the energy price cap being lifted in April, with warnings annual bills could jump from £1277 to £2000.

Travel costs will go up from April with rail fares rising by 3.8%, the biggest hike in nearly a decade, while grocery prices rose by 3.5% in December.

The National: Chancellor Rishi Sunak in Downing Street, London, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital for tests as his coronavirus symptoms persist. PA Photo. Picture date: Monday April 6, 2020. See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus . Photo credit

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has frozen the income tax thresholds for five years. The Scottish Government has also ended the freeze on council tax increases, urging local authorities to consider the impact of any rise on households.

Yesterday, Alba leader Alex Salmond called for the Scottish Government to fully fund a council tax freeze, after the policy was approved at a meeting of his party.

He said: “People are now facing unprecedented challenges and extra pressures due to the coronavirus, however this year energy bills and other household bills are going to increase at a rate which are completely unaffordable for many families.”