Glasgow set to host 'largest' summit on tackling cost of living crisis

Campaigners say poverty is a 'political choice' ahead of the conference on measures to ease the crisis affecting households across the country.

Glasgow set to host ‘Scotland’s largest’ summit on tackling cost of living crisis iStock

Glasgow is set to host a new conference on tackling the cost of living crisis described as the largest of its kind in Scotland.

Campaigners, charitable organisations and trade unions will all be represented at Friday’s summit in a joint call for policy makers to do more to help those struggling with soaring charges across the board.

More than 40 organisations will join the meeting, promoted by the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) and the Poverty Alliance.

It comes as experts warn basic foodstuffs including meat, dairy and fruit and vegetable products could be next in line to skyrocket in price due to a myriad of factors including Brexit, Covid-induced supply chain issues and the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The Institute of Grocery Distribution has predicted a peak for food inflation of 15% over the coming months, pushing the average monthly spend on groceries for a family of four to around £439 by early next year.

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said: “Poverty is a political choice. The pandemic has exposed the deep-rooted inequalities across Scotland, exacerbated by a cost-of-living crisis not of workers’ choice nor making.

“We cannot – and will not – be held responsible for the negligence of our political class in their failures to tackle rising inflation coupled with falling wages.

“This summit, the largest seen in Scotland on this crisis, calls for the Scottish Government to go further, using the powers of the parliament to mitigate this emergency.”

She added: “Their recent spending review plans to foist harmful cuts on our public services is utterly incompatible with the response needed to help those impacted by this crisis.”

“Whilst the UK Government are still firmly within our sights – and we will be front and centre at the national demonstration outside Westminster parliament this Saturday – we will be unrelenting and unapologetic in our resistance to this crisis until further action is taken.”

In April, the Bank of England said the rate of inflation shot up to 9% – its highest level since 1982.

Meanwhile, energy prices are set to be hiked for the second time in the space of six months in October, according to industry regulator Ofgem.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “The only way that we can make lasting change when it comes to poverty, is through co-operation and solidarity.

“By bringing together trade unions and voluntary and community groups, we want to build a movement that puts compassion and justice at the heart of public life, in our communities, in Holyrood, and in Westminster.”

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