The National:

THE Conservative party has broken a manifesto commitment not to raise taxes and it looks like Scots will be forced to pay for a looming crisis in English social care.

But this is not the first time that the people of Scotland will have to pay for the failures of the Tories to stand by their pledges to voters.

From Brexit to Universal Credit cuts and inaction on rising energy prices, Scots are being forced to pay for the failures of the Tory government in Westminster.

Here are five things Scots will have to pay for due to Tory failures:

1. Cut to Universal Credit

While the Tories introduced the £20 per week uplift to Universal Credit last year to help families struggling during Covid lockdowns, removing it is now cancelling out the Scottish Government's payment for children needing support.

The UK Government plans to roll back the increase by November of this year which will see thousands of families across Scotland made poorer as they lose annual income of £1040.

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Earlier this year, the Scottish Government introduced the Scottish Child Payment which aims to reduce inequality by providing money to be used for whatever families need most.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that the payment will be doubled from £10 per week to £20 "sooner rather than later" to help mitigate Tory cuts.

If the Tories cared more about helping poorer families with the Universal Credit system that Scotland is forced to use then perhaps this would not have to happen at all.

2. Brexit hits Scottish businesses

Businesses in Scotland have been hit hard by the UK's decision to leave the European Union 

Since the 2016 vote, the UK as a whole has seen a 5.5% drop in exports and warnings have been levelled that the decision to leave could cost Scotland's GDP (Gross Domestic Product) up to £9 billion by 2030.

In the past two years, whisky exports have fallen by £5 million per week, an industry that accounts for 21% of the UK economy.

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And that's not even mentioning the supply issues that have led to empty shelves and shortages across businesses along with farmers having to destroy millions of vegetables due to not being able to get them to market.

Due to adding extra export rules to trade with our closest neighbours because of Brexit - and a hasty exit so Boris Johnson could say he got a deal in time for the deadline - Scottish industries are not able to make as much.

3. Energy bills increasing

Energy regulator Ofgem announced in August that prices for millions of households across the UK will increase by an average of £139 per year due to increased costs from suppliers.

The increase in bills will come into effect in October, right when those claiming Universal Credit will see a reduction in the amount of money they will receive.

The National: The price cap on energy will rise for the second time this year

In 2016, the Tory government promised “fuel bills would be lower for everyone” if we left the EU but here we are, five years after the Brexit vote with prices about to increase.

Despite their overtures to the contrary, the Tories are a party for business so it's little wonder why they're not putting a cap on prices to help people who this will affect the most. 

Since energy is a reserved matter for Westminster, there is little Scotland can do to counteract this rise in prices.

4. Pensions triple lock

Another manifesto pledge that the Tories broke (on the same day as they raised taxes) was scrapping the triple lock on pensions.

The triple lock - a Tory manifesto commitment - guarantees that pensions grow in line with whichever is highest out of earnings, inflation, or 2.5%.

However, Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey (below) told MPs that next year's increase will be based on either 2.5% or inflation because there had been an “irregular statistical spike in earnings” over the period pensions are set.

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The UK already has the lowest state pension, as a proportion of pre-retirement wages, compared to our European neighbours. Pensioners receive around 28% of the average working wage while those in Austria and Luxembourg enjoy 90%.

The SNP said that Tory ministers should be "ashamed" of breaking a promise to pensioners.

It's becoming increasingly clear that the priorities of the Tories don't match up with Scottish voters - if decades of Westminster elections wasn't enough to show you that.

5. Rise in National Insurance payments

And of course, there is the most recent rise in National Insurance (NI) payments that Johnson has claimed will be a "Union dividend" as more money is being "allocated" to Scotland than Scots are paying.

The Tory PM announced a health and social care levy that will be based on a 1.25% increase to NI payments but the money is being raised to help England's social care system with Scots already paying to fund ours.

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Johnson said that Scotland will "benefit from" an extra £1.1 billion a year by 2024-25 for health and social care. So taxes raised in Scotland will be used here? Thanks Boris!

Health is a devolved matter controlled by the Scottish Government which works much more closely with Scotland's NHS and understands where money needs to go.

But will the UK give all of that money to the Scottish Government to use in the most effective way for health and social care through Barnett formula consequential?

That remains to be seen until all the money is able to be properly collected and distributed, which is likely to be very close to a potential second referendum on Scottish independence.

Watch this space.