WEST Dunbartonshire's MP has warned that the UK Government’s cost-of-living payments will “barely scratch the surface” and that more must be done to tackle the “worsening” crisis.

The Chancellor confirmed the first of two payments to help eligible low-income households will hit people’s bank accounts from July 14.

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said he welcomes this initial payment of £326, which will be made to qualifying households by the end of July, and the second of £324, which is set to follow in August.

However, the SNP politician has criticised the UK Government for “failing to act sooner” and is calling on further action to be taken to help households impacted by soaring fuel, food, and energy prices.

Mr Docherty-Hughes said:  "Across Clydebank, Dumbarton, and the Vale of Leven, far too many of my constituents are struggling to get by just now.

"With soaring fuel, food, and energy prices, it's outrageous that Boris Johnson's government has sat on its hands for so long.

"The long-awaited measures announced by the Chancellor – welcome though they are – will barely scratch the surface with the skyrocketing rate of inflation hammering households just now.

"I've spoken in the Commons many times about the impact of the UK's cost-of-living crisis on people in West Dunbartonshire, but as ever this Tory government turns a blind eye.

“Scotland is an energy-rich country, but we’re paying a heavy price for the cost of living under Westminster rule.” 

Food banks in West Dunbartonshire are facing rising demand, as families and individuals are hit by inflation which the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says is at a 40-year high of nine percent.

It comes as we reported last month that it was a bittersweet moment for Old Kilpatrick Food Parcels (OKFP) as the service celebrated its second birthday and also marked its busiest month on record.

Throughout the course of April Maureen Cummings, founder of OKFP said that the service supported around 1,000 people distributing 380 food parcels.

A new study was recently released by the Institute of Grocery Distribution which warns that Brexit is contributing to the rising price of food, with the monthly average spend on groceries for a family of four set to reach £439 in January 2023, up from £396 at the start of this year.

In response, a HM Treasury spokesperson added: “We know that people in Scotland are struggling with rising prices and worried about the months ahead.

"That’s why we’ve stepped in to ease the burden, helping eight million of the most vulnerable British families through at least £1,200 of direct payments this year -  and giving every household right across the UK, £400 to help pay their energy bills.

“As part of our £37bn support package we’re also saving the typical employee over £330 a year through the imminent National Insurance tax cut, are allowing Universal Credit claimants to keep £1,000 more of what they earn and have made the biggest cut to all fuel duty rates ever.”