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Scots voters put cost of living crisis first at council elections

 

A snap poll said 75 per cent of people cited the crisis as their main concern when voting.

The cost of living crisis was the highest priority for voters during last week’s local government elections, new research has found. 

A snap poll from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and Opinium found that the cost of living was the top issue for three quarters of the Scottish electorate when casting their ballot. 

Following the cost of living crisis, 60 per cent of voters cited the NHS as their primary concern, with public services (21%), housing (15%), Brexit (20%) and the environment (19%) all taking voter preference over the constitution (14%). 

The news has been cited as a ‘wake-up call’ from the Scottish Trades Union Congress (STUC) leader Roz Foyer. 

Ms Foyer last week announced a specific cost of living crisis summit will be held on June 17th in Scotland by the STUC and the Poverty Alliance. 

She said: “These elections should be a wake-up call to all levels of government – local, Scottish and UK – that workers throughout the country need urgent and sustained help in the face of this brutal attack on their living standards.

“By far and away, with 75% of the electorate in Scotland citing the cost of living crisis as their top concern, with health, housing and the environment all taking preference over the constitution, all incoming councillors must make this their most urgent priority.

“Our local government manifesto made clear we need sustained investment from the Scottish Government to local authorities throughout the country, helping to deliver a real terms pay increase for our public sector workers. This is in addition to delivering on rent freezes, settling equal pay disputes and introducing universal free school meals throughout the country.

“This is the type of real terms action we need from councillors and government throughout Scotland. Our movement, with affiliates currently balloting for industrial action across the country, is not standing idle whilst workers face this material threat to their living conditions.”

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Everyone should have enough to pay their bills. “But years of standstill wages, and cuts to social security, have left millions at the mercy of soaring bills and prices.

“On local elections day today, the public have sent out a clear distress call. They want the government to do more to help families get through this cost of living emergency. 

“The Chancellor must come back to parliament with an Emergency Budget, to help with energy bills and raise the minimum wage and Universal Credit. The longer ministers delay the more damage will be done.”

 

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