BORIS Johnson has been urged to tackle the “poverty pandemic” gripping Britain as inflation reaches historic highs.

Ian Blackford took the Prime Minister to task for the “emergency” cost of living crisis facing households amid an expected hike in National Insurance, rising utility bills and inflation reaching 6.2% - its highest level in 30 years.

The SNP Westminster leader called on Johnson to increase benefits and do more to ensure families can afford to live.

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He said: “The Chancellor needs to ditch the official photographer and listen to [Money Saving Expert founder] Martin Lewis.

“Family finances are at breaking point, they can’t tighten their budgets any more.

“These families have no room for manoeuvre.”

He said the Chancellor, who is announcing his Spring Statement on Wednesday afternoon, has £20 billion available to tackle the cost of living crisis, accusing him of deciding not to act.

“This Chancellor is making a political choice, the choice to push people further into hardship by hiking taxes, cutting Universal Credit and giving companies free reign to slash workers’ pay through fire and re hire,” Blackford added.

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He demanded the Government scrap the “National Insurance tax hike” and warned a failure to take action would make “this Tory poverty pandemic even worse”.

The Prime Minister responded by mocking Blackford, branding him “Mystic Meg” to jeers from the Tory benches, alluding to the fact the Chancellor would be providing a full financial update this afternoon.

Blackford also thanked the UK and Scottish governments, as well as Home Office minister Kevin Foster, for their role to allow a plane to fly to Warsaw to pick up 50 “young orphans” that have left Ukraine and will now be flown to Scotland.

He said: “Let’s hope that it’s the beginning of something much more significant for many more young people that we can offer sanctuary to."