Scots have been “abandoned” during the economic and NHS crises, Scottish Labour has said, as polling reveals a majority do not trust Scottish ministers to relieve pressures.
A public attitudes survey published by the Scottish Government showed that 55% do not trust ministers to work in “Scotland’s best interests” when it comes to the cost of living, compared to 37% in support of the approach.
Meanwhile, the survey of 1,001 respondents found 59% did not trust the approach to dealing with the current pressures on NHS services, including long A&E waits and delayed discharges. However, 34% said they trusted the approach “a great deal”, while 7% were unsure.
Jackie Baillie, Scottish Labour’s deputy leader, said the poll results were “damning” and called on ministers to adopt measures such as a £100 water bill rebate and tackling NHS vacancies and retention.
She said: “We are in the grips of a cost-of-living crisis causing financial misery and an NHS crisis putting lives in danger.
“This damning poll shows how many Scots feel abandoned by the SNP during the twin crises facing Scotland.
“Scotland deserves better than the same old excuses from this tired and out-of-touch SNP Government.
“Only Labour has a real plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, renew our economy and deliver a real NHS recovery.”
A spokesperson for Social Justice Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said: “Given we now know that Labour would keep the Tories’ most abhorrent policies such as two-child cap, the rape clause and the bedroom tax, it is nonsensical to hear them accuse anyone else of abandoning families struggling with the cost of living.
“With our limited powers the SNP Government has allocated almost £3 billion this year and last to tackle poverty and to protect people as far as possible during the cost of living crisis, including offering free school meals to all pupils in primaries 1-5 and in special schools, giving families an average annual saving of £400 per child.
“As a result of action taken by the Scottish Government, including the Scottish Child Payment, it is estimated 90,000 fewer children will live in poverty.
“The most recent Social Attitudes Survey found that two thirds of people in Scotland trust the Scottish Government to act in Scotland’s best interests – three times as many who trust the UK Government to do so.
“The contrast couldn’t be clearer – SNP Government policies are lifting people out of poverty, and Labour’s duplication of Tory policies would push people into poverty.”