Church leaders are urging the UK and Scottish governments to urgently tackle the cost of living crisis as food, energy and fuel prices soar.

In a joint appeal, the Church of Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church and Roman Catholic Church urge government ministers to “set aside” their political differences and come up with a joined up solution to the crisis. 

They warn that low-income families are especially at risk from inflation and spiralling costs, and will be left to choose between heating and eating. 

“The cost of living is rising fast,” says the letter.  

“Energy bills are expected to increase significantly in April and inflation is pushing up the cost of essentials, including food.

“This will hurt low income families more than most and push more people into deep poverty, creating for some the grim choice between eating or heating.

“These are not luxuries, they are the very basics.”

Lord Wallace, Moderator of the Church of Scotland General Assembly, Rt Rev Hugh Gilbert, President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, and Most Revd Mark Strange, Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church. 

The letter expresses concern about the impact of poverty on children and praises the work of charities supporting the poor and vulnerable in spite of “a surge in demand and financial challenges of their own”. 

“We urge both the Scottish and UK Governments to set aside political differences and come together in a spirit of pragmatism and compassion to seek effective solutions to this very serious and worsening situation,” they said. 

“We call on political leaders to listen to those who have lived experience of poverty and to follow this engagement with the creation of conditions necessary to support people out of poverty and to prevent people falling into poverty in future.” 

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