Children are being most affected
Scotland’s children’s commissioner says the failure of governments to curb rising prices is costing children dear.
Bruce Adamson said governments were failing at all levels and failing to address the problems created by the crisis.
He said: "It can affect their development, it has a negative impact on their mental and physical health, their education, family relationships, standard of living, aspirations and life chances," he said.
"Everyone who has any level of power needs to be thinking about how they can use their powers in the most effective way and use the resources they have most effectively.
"We're talking about a rights issue here and at the most extreme we are talking about the lives of children, but we're also talking about education and health and mental health, and the impact of governments failing to act are going to be lifelong."
He said making additional money and support available now "makes economic sense".
"The failure to act now is going to have massive economic consequences in the future as well in our health system and education system," he added.
"It's unacceptable that we've got children being left hungry, that families are without heating. These are political choices and we're leaving families unable to survive."
A typical household energy bill will rise to £3,549 in October when the new energy price cap takes effect.
Charities and campaigners have said the rise alone will cost lives as many simply can’t afford to pay it.
And inflation hit a 40-year high of 10.1% in July, and expected to reach an estimated 18% next year.
The Scottish government said it had allocated almost £3bn this year to "help mitigate the cost of living crisis".
A government spokesperson said: "We are very concerned at the hardship households are facing, and the Scottish government is doing what we can with the limited powers and budget we have."
This included increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £25 per eligible child per week and extend it to cover children under 16s by the end of the year.
"We are the only nation in the UK offering this vital benefit, as well as bridging payments worth £520 annually to support over 145,000 school age children," the spokesperson said.
"The new Child Winter Heating Assistance, an annual payment of £214, is only available in Scotland and provides families of disabled children with much needed certainty."
A further £10m has been committed to continue the Fuel Insecurity Fund in 2022-23 to help households at risk of self-disconnection, they added.