THE constant cycle of chaos that is the Westminster government has created a cost-of-living crisis that is affecting each and every one of us.

Whether that is seen through the doubling in price of a budget bag of pasta or the way in which inflation is eating away at the budgets of the Scottish Government and the local council.

The UK Chancellor had the chance to put that right with his Autumn Statement but totally failed to address the pressure on devolved budgets which is what is needed to help people with the cost-of-living crisis, to support public services and to finance fair pay offers.

With average household disposable incomes forecast to fall by 7 per cent in real terms according to the Office for Budget Responsibility, households across Scotland are paying a steep price for the economic mismanagement of the UK Government.

That level of collapse will erode nearly 10 years of growth, taking living standards back to levels not seen since 2013-14, meaning they would not recover to pre-pandemic levels until after 2027-28 – a devastating indictment of broke, busted Britain.

Here we are, at the start of a long and deep recession, record debt, the highest tax levels for over 40 years, the highest inflation for decades. And the Tories' answer: more austerity!

We will all – especially the poorest amongst us - pay the cost of this utter Tory incompetence.

But, of course, not a critical word, or even concern, from Tory MSPs who seem to imagine that silence in the face of Tory cuts, and theatrical noises about the Scottish Government's budget constraints will conceal the Tory source of the public service cuts we are facing.

It won't – Tories must own this austerity. They chose it, they created it.

The Scottish Government is doing what it can to protect people, and although it is getting harder and harder to do so, one area that is a top priority is child poverty.

I am really pleased that the Scottish Child Payment has been increased from £20 to £25 per week per child, meaning over 1500 families in my Clackmannanshire & Dunblane constituency are set to receive a boost to their household incomes from the Scottish Government.

Eligibility for the payment has also been extended, meaning eligible families with children up to the age of 16 can now apply.

The Scottish Child Payment is only available in Scotland and demonstrates how the SNP Scottish Government is building a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect.

To further assist local people, I am co-hosting a Cost of Living Drop In Event in the Tommy Downs Room, Alloa Town Hall on Friday 25th November, 10am – 1pm, along with John Nicolson MP and the Leader of Clackmannanshire Council, Councillor Ellen Forson.

This drop in event will have representatives from the Department of Work and Pensions, Scottish Power, Clackmannanshire Council, and Clackmannanshire Citizens Advice Bureau, as well as many more. Do come along!