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MP for West Dunbartonshire Martin Docherty-Hughes has warned that local households face severe hardship this winter due to the UK’s cost-of-living crisis.

The local SNP MP is calling on the Westminster government to bring back the £400 energy rebate, following concerns that household energy bills are set to be 13% higher than they were last year.

More than 140 charities and organisations have joined calls for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to provide support to struggling households who face the desperate choice between heating and eating.

It comes as campaigners mark Challenge Poverty Week (2nd – 8th October), which highlights the detrimental impact of poverty and inequality in Scotland.

Local MP Martin Docherty-Hughes praised the contribution of volunteers and groups working to alleviate poverty in West Dunbartonshire. On Friday he visited Dalmuir Barclay Church Community Pantry, to meet with community volunteers at the drop-in cafe following a joint advice surgery with local Councillor Sophie Traynor.

Commenting, Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“At my weekly advice surgeries I’m hearing from increasing numbers of local families worried about rising food bills and energy costs.

“In a wealthy country like Scotland people shouldn’t face the choice between heating and eating. But the grim reality is that more and more families here are being forced to turn to food banks to get by.

“As we mark Challenge Poverty Week, I’m grateful to local groups and volunteers like those at Dalmuir Barclay Church working to help families in West Dunbartonshire through these tough times.

“With winter fast approaching, and energy bills rising, the government must step up support for the most vulnerable people in our communities. A failure to do so risks pushing many more of my constituents into poverty and hardship over the coming months.

“I’m determined to continue speaking up for families impacted by poverty and fighting against Westminster austerity.”

Further Information on Challenge Poverty Week is available here.

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