Updated: Mar 3

Labour MSP James Kelly has demanded action to protect families and households across Rutherglen and Cambuslang who are staring down the barrel of a ‘cost of living crisis’ caused by the pandemic.

Statistics published by the Scottish Government last week have revealed the extent of the cost of living crisis, with almost half a million Scots - 497,170 people seeking help with council tax exemptions as of November last year. In South Lanarkshire the figure stood at 32,050.

In South Lanarkshire, as many as 32,050 have been forced to apply for council tax exemption.

Statistics have also revealed that by the end of December 2020, 1,207 people had applied for debt moratoria under emergency measures brought forward by Scottish Labour and contained in both the Coronavirus (Scotland) Act 2020 and the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020.

On top of the pressures of council tax and personal debt, millions of Scots are set to be hit by inflation-busting water prices – despite Scottish Water and its subsidiaries holding reserves of over half a billion pounds.

Kelly is challenging the SNP to take action to support thousands of Scottish families facing a cost of living crisis due to collapsing earnings and spiralling costs.

Commenting, James Kelly MSP said: “The economic shockwaves of this pandemic have rocked families and households in Rutherglen and Cambuslang, with many thousands facing falling earnings and rising costs.

“Make no mistake, our communities are facing a cost of living crisis. It is simply unacceptable that 32,050 people in South Lanarkshire have been forced to apply for council tax exemption.

“The SNP has been too slow to act to support businesses, protect workers and protect family finances – at the coming budget, Scottish Labour will fight for a fair economic recovery for all that puts the people of Scotland first.

“It’s time to put people in communities like ours in Rutherglen at Cambuslang, at the heart of our economic recovery.”

Council Tax Statistics:

1. In November 2020, there was a total of 497,170 people in receipt of CTR

2. This is an increase of 29,030 people when compared to November 2019 (468,140)

Debt Statistics:

- As at 31 December 2020, 1,207 applications for moratoria had been granted under the new powers.


James Kelly 

for Rutherglen

Printed and promoted by Amy Lee Fraioli on behalf of James Kelly both at 290 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4RE