JUST as the Scottish public has finally begun to move on from the trials brought about by the pandemic for the last two and a half years, we have found ourselves facing an entirely different challenge, as the scale of the cost of living crisis becomes clearer.

While any week where we see a new prime minister take office is potentially an exciting time in politics, it is unlikely that excitement is the primary emotion at the top of the UK Government right now.

Given the recent confirmation from Ofgem that the energy price cap will rise to £3,549 per year for an average household, it is far more likely to be trepidation that is at the forefront of the new prime minister's mind.

But as well as rising energy bills, we know that record levels of inflation will impact people's finances from all directions – particularly with the cost of food, for example.

And for countless small businesses, the potential energy bills they are facing has left them unsure how to balance the books in the year ahead.

Clearly, the new prime minister has a job on their hands to tackle this issue.

Earlier this year, the UK Government stepped up with an impressive £37billion package of support, which was worth over £1,600 to the households who needed this support the most.

But given how this crisis has continued to escalate in recent months, it is time for the UK Government to step-up once again.

But in reality, the sheer scale of this challenge ahead means it is one that both of Scotland's governments must address.

The SNP here in Scotland cannot sit idly by without coming up with additional support of their own – with extensive powers over taxation, significant devolved benefit powers, and the largest block grant in the history of devolution, the Scottish Government has the power to act on this crisis too.

The SNP's record of delivering on the potential of their devolved powers is largely one of missed opportunities, and you only need to look at their mishandling of Scottish income tax and the heavily delayed timeline for the rollout of devolved benefits for proof of this.

But the delivery of initiatives such as the Scottish Child Payment, and the subsequent doubling of this payment that was called for by all parties in the Scottish Parliament, shows what can be done when these powers are used properly.

The Scottish public don't want to see buck passing or excuses, they want – and deserve – to see meaningful support from this SNP Government.

For many households across the county, the coming months will be filled with much uncertainty. Without urgent action from both of Scotland's governments to help mitigate the enormous bills that households face, many people will be facing a difficult winter.

As we have seen before, difficult times call for truly bold actions to be taken by government. I certainly hope that in the near future, we see the full potential of Scotland's two governments working together to ensure that, once again, bold actions become a reality.