Tag Archives: Sturgeon

Nicola Sturgeon calls for urgent meeting with PM over cost-of-living crisis

Nicola Sturgeon calls for urgent meeting with PM over cost-of-living crisis
A meeting of the devolved administrations is due next month but the First Minister has called for it to be brought forward.

Scotland’s First Minister has called for an urgent meeting between the heads of the devolved administrations to address the cost-of-living crisis.

In a letter sent on Monday, Nicola Sturgeon urged the premier ministre to move a proposed meeting between the heads of the UK’s Governments from September to this week.

La semaine dernière, the Bank of England announced projections that could see inflation rise above 13% en octobre, while another projection found that the energy price cap could rise to £3,358 annually from October, and could hit £3,615 from January.

Many of the “levers of government” required to tackle the issue remain reserved to Westminster, the First Minister said in her letter, adding that actions taken by devolved administrations “will not be enough”.

“You suggested a first meeting of the Heads of Government Council to take place in September,” the First Minister wrote.

"Pourtant, as I am sure you must recognise, the situation is fast deteriorating and many people across the UK simply cannot afford to wait until September for further action to be taken.

“I am therefore writing to seek an emergency meeting of the Heads of Government Council and propose that we, as leaders of our respective Governments, meet as soon as possible this week to discuss and agree urgent steps to help those in most need now, and also formulate a plan of action for the autumn and winter ahead.”

Elle a ajouté: “The current crisis requires clear, focused and determined leadership and co-operation to develop and deliver – at pace – a package of interventions to protect those most impacted.”

In her letter, the First Minister stressed that “targeted” support was necessary for the most vulnerable, while hitting out at tax cuts proposed by those vying to succeed Boris Johnson in No 10.

Gordon Brown called for the UK Government to initiate its emergency response committee (Nicholas T. Ansell/PA)
Gordon Brown called for the UK Government to initiate its emergency response committee (Nicholas T. Ansell/PA)

It came as the Government was warned by business leaders that it must have “all hands to the pump” to address the crisis ahead of the autumn.

Tony Danker, director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), joined former prime minister Gordon Brown’s call for swift intervention to address rising energy costs.

But Downing Street said Mr Johnson had no plans to introduce major new fiscal measures before the end of his premiership.

Mr Danker said: “The economic situation people and businesses are facing requires all hands to the pump this summer.

“We simply cannot afford a summer of Government inactivity while the leadership contest plays out followed by a slow start from a new prime minister and cabinet.

“The Prime Minister and Chancellor should be taking the next few weeks to grip the emerging crisis and the planning required to tackle it. This will also give their successor – whomever that may be – the very best chance of getting quickly out of the blocks.”

He added that the Prime Minister and the candidates vying to replace him – Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss – should “come together to agree a common pledge to support people and help quell fears”.

The CBI also called for top civil servants to be directed to draft options to help struggling households ahead of a new prime minister being selected.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said Mr Johnson – who is back in No 10 following his holiday in Slovenia – would be speaking to Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi to ensure that support measures due to come into effect later in the year remained on track.

But the spokesman added that any further measures would be a matter for Mr Johnson’s successor once the Tory leadership contest concludes.

Mr Johnson has been urged by Mr Brown to trigger the UK Government’s emergency response committee to deal with the crisis.

Writing for the Daily Record newspaper on Monday, the former prime minister issued a plea for “urgent measures” to cover further rises in fuel bills amid “millions standing on the edge of a financial precipice”.

He urged Boris Johnson to unite with Tory leadership hopefuls Ms Truss and Mr Sunak to prepare and agree on an emergency budget – or face growing pressure to recall Parliament and force them to do so.

Mr Brown said: “With millions standing on the edge of a financial precipice, we call for urgent measures to cover the cost of a further £1000-plus rise in fuel bills on top of April’s already painful increases.”

Il ajouta: “Cobra, the UK Government’s disaster emergency committee, should be in permanent session to deal with the coming fuel and energy crisis.”

Cobra, or COBR (Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms), is a UK Government civil contingencies committee which meets to discuss matters of national emergency or major disruption.