Lib Dems call for a cut to VAT and a cost-of-living rescue plan

With the Scottish Liberal Democrats unable to hold a spring conference due to the emergence of Omicron, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today used a visit to Peak Scientific, a manufacturer of scientific equipment based near Glasgow to set out proposals to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, including cutting VAT to 17.5% across the UK and scrapping the National Insurance tax hike.

Alongside these proposals, Scottish Liberal Democrats are also calling on the SNP/Green Government to:

  • Invest in insulation: Household budgets need protection from soaring energy prices. Insulating homes and delivering green upgrades will bring down costs and emissions. It is a win-win.
  • Reverse the £250m cut to councils: The Scottish Government is receiving record levels of budget funding. That hasn’t stopped it handing down a £250m real-terms cut to councils which put pressure on them to raise council tax.
  • Cancel the 3.8% rise in rail fares: The Scottish Government is taking over the running of Scotland’s railways. This isn’t the time to drive up the price of climate-friendly transport. Instead, an expansion of the railcard discount scheme would bring down costs and encourage more people to leave the car at home.
  • Boost disability benefits: The SNP/Green Government copied the UK Government’s plan, leaving benefits lagging up to 4% below inflation this year.
  • Pay-up for fire alarms: Many households can’t afford hundreds of pounds right now. They require extra help to make the changes the Scottish Government is demanding.

Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

“It’s time to move on from the division that has held Scotland back for so long. Let’s lay aside talk of an independence referendum and get to grips with what matters right now.

“That starts with getting Scotland back on its feet after two years of the pandemic and by recognising that our people are facing the biggest hit to household budgets in a generation.

“So what we are we going to do about it?

“Scottish Liberal Democrats would insulate you and your home from the cost-of-living crisis and the climate emergency with a massive investment in improving energy efficiency.

“Across the UK we would put a Robin Hood tax on energy companies making super profits and cut VAT to reduce household bills.

“Scotland has a proud history and our people are magnificent - you can see that in the way we’re opening our homes to Ukrainian refugees. But it can be so much more.

“Back us this May and I promise you that Liberal Democrats in the villages and towns of Scotland will show you the meaning of hope once again.”

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