THE SNP has slammed the UK government for leaving millions of struggling households "out in the cold" over the cost-of-living crisis as the energy price hike takes effect.

With energy bills set to increase by 54% to just under £2000 a year, Ian Blackford challenged Boris Johnson during PMQs on Wednesday and followed up on Friday by saying that he and Rishi Sunak were “turning their backs” on families who will suffer the most from rising energy costs.

The SNP have called on the UK government to introduce a package of support to tackle the crisis, as well as following the lead of the Scottish Government by matching the “game changing” Scottish Child Payment UK-wide and uprating benefits by 6%.

However, in last week's Spring Statement, the Chancellor neglected to heed these calls, with the fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) now warning that the hike will be the "biggest energy price shock in living memory" and that "many people on the lowest incomes will be crushed by the reality."

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Ian Blackford said: "The energy price hike will deliver a devastating body blow to millions of households across the UK that are already on the ropes due to the spiralling Tory cost-of-living crisis.

"Rather than heeding the warnings and bringing forward real support, the Chancellor and Prime Minister have instead turned their backs on people and left them out in the cold.

"The reality of the energy price hike - which will pile on around £700 on average to bills - is that those on low incomes and people struggling to make ends meet will be pushed over the brink into unmanageable levels of debt and hardship.

"There are already grim warnings that food bank users are having to choose food based on whether they can afford the energy to boil it, people are having to skip meals, and households are struggling over whether they can turn on the heating at all. 

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"The Tory government has refused to get a grip of the crisis brewing under its watch by failing to use its reserved powers and rejecting the SNP's calls to convert the £200 energy loan into a more generous grant, scrap the National Insurance tax hike, reverse the £1040 cuts to Universal Credit, match the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide, introduce a Real Living Wage to boost incomes, reduce or remove VAT on household energy bills, and to follow the Scottish Government’s 6% uprating of benefits.

"The Tories are failing families across Scotland - we can do so much better. The elections on May 5th are an opportunity to cast a vote for SNP councillors who will work tirelessly for communities, and to cast a verdict on Tory government's dire record.

“Boris Johnson and his broken government are completely detached from the realities of families struggling with the soaring costs of living.”