THE UK Government must do more to support the construction industry amid the cost of living crisis after it emerged that a third of tradespeople cannot afford essential tools, the SNP have said.

Research conducted by ElectricalDirect, found that 33% of tradespeople can’t afford the tools they need, with some even using damaged equipment as they cannot meet the costs to replace it.

Some 15% reported keeping their tools for longer than they used to, with 16% now more likely to repair their equipment.

Around 13% are using damaged tools as they cannot afford replacements, the research found.

READ MORE: SNP MP slams Tories for undermining Scotland's drug decriminalisation bid

The SNP blasted the findings and called on the UK Government to “act urgently”.

According to ElectricalDirect, across all traders, workers spend an average of £1100 on tools each year.

Almost a quarter of these costs (22%) are spent on repairs and maintenance, around £246.

However, research suggests a number are tackling these jobs themselves to reduce costs.

Other cost-cutting measures include reducing the usage of power tools to reduce fuel costs, (30%) and buying second-hand equipment instead of new (42%).

The National: Scottish National Party (SNP) MP for Glasgow South West, Chris Stephens, addresses delegates on the final day of the Scottish National Party (SNP) conference in Aberdeen, north east Scotland, on October 17, 2015.    AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANAN

Chris Stephens MP (pictured above), the SNP spokesperson for fair work, said: “After thirteen years of Tory austerity and the never-ending consequences of Brexit, this Westminster made cost-of-living is exacerbating problems for workers across Scotland.

“It is vitally important that workplace safety is guaranteed for all tradespeople and that no one has to risk their safety using damaged or partially repaired tools.

“The Tory government must act urgently to support tradespeople during the cost of living crisis, ensuring a high standard of practice and workplace safety.

“However, in order to truly protect workers’ rights and build a fair and prosperous economy for all, Scotland needs the full powers of independence.”

READ MORE: 'No truth' to scandal around BBC presenter, young person's lawyer says

Dominick Sandford, managing director at ElectricalDirect, said: “The cost-of-living crisis has affected tradespeople in many ways, and workers have had to adjust long-standing habits in order to reduce bills.

“However, it’s important that people don’t take any potentially dangerous risks, and using damaged or partially repaired tools can lead to major problems. There are many far safer ways to cut day-to-day outgoings, and that’s why we’ve partnered with experts to share practical advice.”

The UK Government has been contacted for comment.