Meeting planned

Johnson agrees to talks on cost of living

Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon
Boris Johnson and Nicola Sturgeon are due to meet

Boris Johnson has agreed to hold cost of living talks between the UK and devolved governments.

The outgoing Prime Minister’s announcement follows pressure from Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who wrote to him requesting an emergency meeting on the crisis.

Mr Johnson previously said that Westminster had given Scotland record funding and has committed the equivalent of 1.5% of the country’s GDP to supporting households facing rocketing energy and food bills.

However, Ms Sturgeon said her administration was using its powers to provide some help to hard-pressed families and businesses, including £3bn in direct support, but only the UK government could provide the resources “on the scale required”.

The First Minister has likened the crisis to the pandemic in terms of the response needed to help the most vulnerable. Her ministers have agreed to a budget review and meeting with company leaders.

In his response to Ms Sturgeon’s letter, the Prime Minister said the UK government “understands that people across the UK are worried about the rising cost of living and are seeing their disposable incomes decrease as they spend more on the essentials”.

He added: “I agree that the response to these pressures will be best served by the UK and Devolved Governments working collaboratively to navigate these challenges together.”

No date has been set for the talks but Ms Sturgeon is due to meet Mr Johnson before he steps down as PM on 6 September.

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