Sunday, 22 December 2013

Cost of Christmas Dinner Rising, but Council Tax Freeze Helps Cover the Increase

As families plan Christmas meals with loved ones, the savings made from the SNP’s council tax freeze has been contrasted with the pressure on household budgets caused by significant rises in the cost of food.

Extensive rises in the cost of living over recent years mean that the price of staple household foods has risen sharply in recent years. According to RPI inflation figures, the cost of potatoes rose by 81.82% between May 2007 and October 2013, the price of carrots rose 26.03%, cauliflower increased by 21.05%, pork sausages rose by 35.64% and the cost of an oven ready roasting chicken rose by 37.9%.

The same figures show that the price of beef mince increased over the same period by 69.50%, topside beef rose by 46.48%, pork loin increased by 33.40% and bacon increased by 22.39%.

Meanwhile, a YouGov survey has found that families expect to spend an average of £180 on food and drink this Christmas

In contrast, council tax bills have not risen by a single penny anywhere in Scotland since the SNP took office and will remain frozen for the lifetime of this parliament. This freeze in bills will have saved the average household around £1,200 by the end of this parliamentary term, providing a vital boost to family budgets as the cost of living rises.

Commenting, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn said:

“Christmas is a time when we get together with families and loved ones, but the rising cost of a traditional Christmas dinner is putting real pressure on household budgets.

“With food prices having risen significantly in recent years, it is inevitable that many people will be feeling the pinch this Christmas. That is why measures like the council tax freeze have been so important to so many households struggling to make ends meet.

“Thanks to the SNP’s council tax freeze, households in Scotland will have saved an average of £1,200 by the end of this parliament.

“That is a hugely important saving and has been of enormous relief to people across the length and breadth of Scotland.

“While other bills may be inexorably rising, people are able to rely on not receiving any nasty shocks in their council tax bills thanks to the SNP."
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