Nicola Sturgeon has accused the UK Government of a “dereliction of duty” on tackling the cost of living crisis that “people will neither forgive nor forget”.
It comes ahead of the First Minister setting out the Scottish Government’s plans for the year ahead when MSPs return to Holyrood on Tuesday.
The SNP leader has pledged that the cost of living crisis will be “front and centre” of the plans.
Sturgeon will set out her Programme for Government on the same day as the new prime minister begins their first day in office.
Either Liz Truss or Liz Truss will be announced as the new Conservative Party leader on Monday and will be appointed as prime minister by the Queen on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of setting out the Scottish Government’s plans, Sturgeon argued that the levers for tackling the crisis remain “in the hands of the Tories” at Westminster.
“Tackling the cost crisis will be front and centre of our plans,” she said.
“The steps we outline this week will build on the actions we have already taken with the limited powers of the Scottish Parliament to support households budgets.
“Such as the Scottish Child Payment, the Carers Allowance Supplement and the Council Tax Reduction scheme.
“However, the ley levers in this crisis remain in the hands of the Tories at Westminster – a government which has been in hibernation over the summer as the Tory faithful choose who will be the fourth prime minister in six years.
“Their inaction has caused huge anxiety for families and huge uncertainty for businesses.
“It has been a dereliction of duty which people will neither forgive nor forget.”
The First Minister explained that action taken at Westminster could “fundamentally” affect plans set out by her government at Holyrood.
She said: “At this most crucial of times, we are in the situation of announcing our plans for the year ahead in an unprecedented cloud of Westminster uncertainty.
“We don’t know if and when an emergency budget may happen, whether Scotland’s block grant is going to be cut this year, or what other measures they may introduce – all of which could fundamentally affect our plans.”
Scottish Labour’s business spokesperson Neil Bibby said that both the SNP and Conservatives are “asleep at the wheel” on the cost of living crisis.
“After a long summer of empty rhetoric from the SNP, this is a chance to take real action,” he said.
“We cannot ask people struggling to put food on the table to listen to a talking shop of empty ministerial statements and debates that go in circles.
“Scots expect their parliaments to be focused on the issues that matter and their governments to use every power they have – but both the SNP and the Tories are asleep at the wheel.
“We have a moral duty to act – every part must back these plans to use the powers we have here in Holyrood to freeze rent, ban winter evictions, and offer a lifeline to those snowed under with debt.”