Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil says Rishi Sunak is ‘utterly failing’ to bring down inflation as it remains at a sky-high level hitting Na h-Eileanan an Iar even harder than other regions.

The latest figures from the ONS show inflation is still at an extortionately high rate of 10.1%. This is being driven by food inflation with the price of milk increasing by more than a third and ready meals increasing by a fifth.

Food prices in Na h-Eileanan an Iar are even higher than the UK average due to a number of factors, such as additional transportation on top of inflation rises.

Mr MacNeil has written to the constituency’s main supermarket, Co-op, for an explanation of the higher prices compared to other supermarkets. The Co-op stated the consistent pricing structure was offered across all stores regardless of the additional business costs incurred operating in remote locations.

The current inflation rise leaves the UK with one of the highest inflation rates amongst major economies, with Italy’s inflation rate at 8.2%, Germany 7.8%, France 6.6% and the USA 5.3%.

Inflation rates have stayed higher than previously predicted as economists expected it to drop below 10%. Rishi Sunak pledged at the start of this year to half inflation by the end of 2023.

Mr MacNeil said: “Households in Na h-Eileanan an Iar are still facing sky-high shopping and energy bills and it is down to Rishi Sunak and his Tory UK government as they are utterly failing to keep inflation under control.

“It is the Tories who caused this cost-of-living crisis and now they are doing next to nothing to ease the pressure on household budgets.

“Inflation in the UK remains high compared to other major European nations because of Brexit. Combined with the UK predicted to have the worst growth of any major economy, the UK is on a downward spiral all at the hands of Brexit.

“There will be no cause for comfort from a pro-Brexit Labour government either as they would keep Scotland out of the European Union, a market seven times the size of the UK’s, and the economic turmoil would continue.

“That is why the only way Scotland can escape the economic incompetence of Westminster control is by becoming an independent country and giving the people the option of re-joining the European Union.”