THE Chancellor’s autumn budget is “too little, too late” for households and another “con trick” from the Tories, the SNP have said.

Jeremy Hunt unveiled measures including a cut in National Insurance contributions for millions of workers and a freeze on alcohol duty as he outlined spending plans for the coming year with a General Election looming.

But SNP economy spokesperson Drew Hendry warned the “limited” action would not “touch the sides for most households.”

He said: "This Tory budget is far too little, too late for the squeezed majority of households - and it shows why Scotland urgently needs the full powers of independence to boost incomes and grow our economy.

"With UK energy bills, mortgages, rents and food prices soaring, the very limited measures in the Chancellor's statement won't touch the sides for most households who have seen their monthly costs go through the roof - and will still be hundreds of pounds worse off.”

READ MORE: Grangemouth: Scottish oil refinery to close with hundreds to lose jobs

He added: "This is yet another con trick from a Tory government that trashed the UK economy, failed to match the SNP government's council tax freeze and Scottish Child Payment - and has refused to devolve powers to the Scottish Parliament so the SNP can act where they won't.”

Scottish Greens economy spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP (below), accused Hunt of “fiddling at the edges while the world burns around us”.

She said: “Even by Tory standards this was a deeply unimpressive and unambitious autumn statement. We need radical change but this doesn’t come close to it. The Tories are continuing to fail people and planet, choosing instead to support their wealthy friends and punish the most vulnerable."

She added: “There was nothing in today’s statement that will give any meaningful help or hope to the millions of people who have struggled through the cost of living - or cost of greed - crisis.

"There is nothing to support them with energy costs as winter starts to bite."

The National:

Meanwhile anti-poverty campaigners have accused the UK Government of using the threat of hunger and destitution to push people into unsuitable work.

The Poverty Alliance criticised proposed changes unveiled by Hunt which would see benefits stop completely for the long-term unemployed who "choose not to engage with the work search process" for six months.

Director Peter Kelly said: “It’s doctors and health professionals, not government ministers, that are best placed to say who is fit for work.

“We live in an unjust economy, where low wages and insecure hours means paid work doesn’t cover living costs for too many people.

"Disabled people face particular barriers to entering good quality, appropriate work as employers are not yet doing enough to change their employment practices to make work more accessible.”

He added: “We built our social security out of justice and compassion. We wanted to put an end to the days when people who were unable to work were left to fall into destitution.”

READ MORE: Scottish Government announces 'exceptionally difficult' budget cuts

Hunt announced benefits would rise using September’s inflation figure of 6.7%, despite concerns he would use the lower October rate of 4.6 per cent.

John Dickie, the director of Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland said: “It’s right that benefits are uprated in line with inflation but this should never have been in doubt.

“After a decade of social security cuts and freezes families are still unable to meet the costs they face.

“Legislation mandating inflationary increases is now needed as a basic protection for living standards – it must never again be left to a ‘rabbit-out-of-the-hat’ moment after months of worry for parents across the country. “

He added: “Struggling families will not be ‘back on track’ until they have the support they need for their children.

“That means the UK government must restore investment in child benefit and abolish the pernicious two-child limit and benefit cap.”

STUC General Secretary Roz Foyer said: “For those at the bottom, we see a return to the draconian, inhumane workfare schemes that demonise those with the least.

“It’s typical that, as we approach an election, the Tories attempt to gaslight the nation into thinking it’s those on welfare who are to blame for economic turbulence, not the Tories themselves.”