THE UK Government has been told to match Scotland’s cost-of-living support and take urgent steps to prevent millions across the UK from being plunged into poverty.

The SNP said Boris Johnson should “come out of hiding” and immediately recall parliament to set out an emergency budget.

Ian Blackford, the party’s Westminster leader, said the Tories should look to the Scottish Government which has uprated the eight benefits it has control over.

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP pointed to the Scottish Child Payment as an example of what should be done south of the Border.

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He said with 85% of social security spending reserved to Westminster, the UK Government must act urgently to prevent millions from being forced into poverty.

Blackford said: “The SNP Scottish Government is doing what it can with its limited powers but it’s time for the UK government to step up and play its part in financially supporting people.

"It must start by uprating benefits as we have done in Scotland and matching the Scottish Child Payment.

“Beyond that, it must scrap the cruel bedroom tax and housing benefit cap.”

The Scottish Government mitigates both the bedroom tax and the housing benefit cap, which it says unfairly penalises those already struggling financially.

The National:

Blackford urged the Tories not to wait until Liz Truss or Rishi Sunak are installed as the next prime minister to act.

“We need the current Prime Minister to come out of hiding, recall Parliament, and set out an emergency budget that includes these steps, as well as doubling the energy bill grant to £800, reversing the energy price cap increase, reinstating the Universal Credit uplift, and bringing in an energy price cap for businesses,” he said.

“These steps can only be taken by the Westminster government, which so far has refused to take any meaningful action to help people.

"I am urging them to do so now before millions are plunged into further financial hardship, more businesses fold, and more livelihoods are put at risk or lost altogether.”

The National: The UK Government has been urged to provide immediate support to those in most needThe UK Government has been urged to provide immediate support to those in most need

It comes as a poll found Scots believe the UK and Scottish governments have not done enough to help with the cost-of-living crisis as the vast majority of the public express anxiety over soaring prices.

The survey by the David Hume Institute and the Diffley Partnership reveals a “bleak” picture when assessing the country’s economic outlook.

The Understanding Scotland poll, which surveyed 2227 Scots, found 87% believed an economic crisis, including a recession and rising inflation, is looming.

And more than nine in 10 respondents expect it to get worse before it gets better.

The National: The cost of energy in the UK is surgingThe cost of energy in the UK is surging

The UK and Scottish governments’ responses were deemed inadequate – by 89% and 73% respectively – as a quarter of respondents said they have had to skip meals to save money.

The UK Government said eight million vulnerable households will benefit from further support.

And Scots (80%) are cutting down on leisure and non-essential items as the crisis deepens, the survey showed.

Particular hostility towards energy companies is noted, with 95% of those surveyed saying firms have done too little to help with rising costs.

Ofgem has announced the energy price cap will rise to £3549, while inflation has reached 10.1%.

The National: Nearly 90% of those polled thought the Boris Johnson's government has not done enough to help with the cost-of-living crisisNearly 90% of those polled thought the Boris Johnson's government has not done enough to help with the cost-of-living crisis

Two in five people have depleted their savings, according to the survey, while more than a third (35%) have accumulated debt or borrowed money, rising to 44% in the most deprived communities.

Mark Diffley, founder and director of the Diffley Partnership, said: “It is unusual to see the public mood being so unambiguously bleak.

“Financial pressures and anxiety at soaring prices are widespread across society, but particularly acute for those who are already most vulnerable.

“Across all demographic groups, and especially in more deprived communities, a clear majority are saying that the response to date from the UK and Scottish governments alike are simply not enough.”

And while the vast majority said they believed their wages should rise in line with inflation, just one third are comfortable asking their employer for a rise and far fewer – 7% – have done so.

Women, young people and part-time workers, who are already more likely to be in low-paid positions, are especially uncomfortable with the request.

Susan Murray, director of the David Hume Institute, said: “Since we started this survey, sadly most people have seen their financial situation deteriorate.”

She added: “We need a concentrated package of targeted support, and we need it now.”

A UK Government spokesperson said: “We know people are concerned about rising prices, which is why we are delivering £1200 extra support to eight million of the most vulnerable households in the UK this year.

The National: As inflation goes beyond 10%, many people in the UK are experiencing a real-terms pay-cut As inflation goes beyond 10%, many people in the UK are experiencing a real-terms pay-cut

“Through our £37 billion support package we are also saving the typical employee over £330 a year through a tax cut in July, allowing people on Universal Credit to keep £1000 more of what they earn and cutting fuel duty by 5p, saving a typical family £100.”

The Scottish Government has also been allocated £41bn over three years, the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the Scottish Government said: “The Scottish Government is doing everything possible within our limited powers and fixed budget to help address the cost-of-living crisis – however, most of the key policy levers are held by the UK Government, which needs to take urgent action.

“We have allocated almost £3bn in this financial year that will contribute towards mitigating the increased costs crisis, including the provision of services and financial support not available elsewhere in the UK, such as the Scottish Child Payment.”

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A UK Government spokesperson said: “We know people are incredibly worried about rising energy bills, following unprecedented gas prices across the continent driven by global events, including (Vladimir) Putin’s aggression in Ukraine and his weaponisation of energy in Europe.

“Direct support will continue to reach people’s pockets in the weeks and months ahead, targeted at those who need it most like low-income households, pensioners and those with disabilities.

“As part of our £37bn package of help for households, one in four of all UK households will see £1200 extra support, provided in instalments across the year, and everyone will receive a £400 discount on their energy bills over winter.

“The Civil Service is also making the appropriate preparations in order to ensure that any additional support or commitments on cost of living can be delivered as quickly as possible when the new prime minister is in place.”