Anne McTaggart MSP called on the Scottish Government to be fully prepared for all eventualities over the colder months in a debate about winter resilience yesterday.
Anne used her speech in the chamber to highlight the real issues faced by so many families in winter, such as frequent travel disruptions and high energy costs.
Ms McTaggart said “For too many Scots, winter already means taking difficult decisions about their household incomes. I believe that it is unacceptable for any of my constituents to be forced to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table.
“Tragically, this will be the daily reality for an increasing number of families in Scotland, who have been badly affected by the continuing economic challenges that we face.”
Anne also talked about the ‘Switch Together’ initiative, an idea championed by the Scottish Labour Party, where thousands of ordinary people come together to negotiate group discounts on energy tariffs.
Anne McTaggart said: “Scottish Labour is helping to drive down prices by negotiating tariffs on behalf of thousands of ordinary customers and achieving far more competitive pricing as a result.
“We in the Labour Party believe that ‘by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone’ and this opportunity allows ordinary people to have the kind of bargaining power that could make a real difference to the household budget over the difficult winter months”.
Anne argued that everyone should have access to high quality information about energy costs and tariffs, and that the Scottish Government should fully support the organisations that are best placed to provide this service in our communities. “I encourage the Scottish Government to invest in and work with organisations such as Energy Action Scotland and the Citizens Advice Bureau, in order to support families and individuals to make smart choices about their energy supplies with ever-shrinking household incomes”.