The Cost of Living Crisis in Scotland: analytical report

This report draws together analysis from a wide range of sources to provide an overview of emerging evidence on the cost of living crisis. It has been produced by a cross-government group of analysts.

Annex 1 – International Policy Responses

This is an overview of some of the main policies and interventions within each country at the point of publication (October 2022). This is a summary and therefore not every policy proposed or enacted by each country is included here. Information on the policies in France and Germany can be found in Chapter 2.


  • On 14 March 2022, the federal government announced a series of measures. This included, extending VAT reduction until the end of September 2022, a €200 payment for oil-heated households and an extended social tariff until 30 September 2022.
  • Reported in August 2022, the federal government announced a further response.[159] This centred around 6 areas: reduction of consumption, support to the general population, support from the banks to the most severely affected households, help to companies, promoting investment in sustainable solutions and windfall profits.


  • In September 2022, the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced new measures.[160] These included a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit (to benefit Canadian renters).
  • Doubling the Goods and Services Tax Credit for 6 months, which would support around 11 million individuals and families who receive the tax credit, including about half of Canadian families with children, and more than half of Canadian seniors.
  • Expansion of the Canada Workers Benefit to provide relief to approximately 3 million low income workers.
  • Canada Dental Benefit to children under 12 who do not have access to dental insurance.


  • In August 2022, the government provided a tax-free 'heat cheque' (of around £700) to low income households which are primarily heated by gas.[161]
  • In September 2022, the government passed a bill to provide financial aid to vulnerable citizens who are badly affected by the rising energy prices.[162]
  • Also in September 2022, energy saving efforts will be implemented in public spaces and buildings, such as schools, municipalities and parliament. These include: lowering the temperature in office spaces and rooms, turning off external lightings and energy saving information to be distributed throughout the workplace.[163]


  • In February 2022, the government introduced temporary targeted responses focusing on transport, agricultural entrepreneurs and households.[164]
  • In August 2022, an energy saving campaign was unveiled that encourages all people living in the country to save energy.
  • In September 2022, the European Commission approved a €5 million Finnish scheme to support commercial fishermen and aquaculture companies for part of the additional costs incurred due to the price increase of certain primary production inputs, such as fuel, electricity, fishing gear and packaging materials.[165]


  • In February 2022, the government announced grant supports for home energy upgrades.[166]
  • In March 2022, the government announced a cut in excise duty on petrol and diesel with reductions of 20% per litre on petrol and 15% per litre on diesel. It will be in place until 31 August.
  • From April 2022, 370,000 Fuel Allowance recipients will receive a €100 lump sum.
  • VAT on gas and electricity was cut from 13.5% to 9% until the end of October 2022.
  • A temporary 20% reduction in public transport fares applied from April 2022 until the end of 2023.
  • New measures were also announced as part of the budget which was announced at the end of September 2022.[21]


  • In April 2022, the Senate approved €8 billion in extra spending, 5.5 billion of which is to counteract rising energy prices and the rest to help the most affected productive sectors of the economy. System charges on electricity bills will be kept at zero throughout summer and VAT was fixed at 5% on gas bills.[167]
  • In May 2022, a new package of measures was announced to help families and business but also to speed up the deployment of renewable energy and regasification plants.
  • In September 2022, the Council of Ministers announced a new package of measures including that the qualifying income level for the 'social electric and gas bonus' will be raised to €15,000 which will reach an additional 600,000 households. The package also includes a one-time bonus of 150 euros for those with incomes below 20,000 euros gross annually, including pensioners, employed, self-employed and seasonal workers.[168]


  • In January 2022, the government increased its cost-of-living allowance by €200 to better protect vulnerable households from rising energy prices.[169]
  • In March 2022, the government introduced new measures. These included a guarantee scheme aimed at facilitating bank loans for eligible companies, reductions in fuel and a temporary rent freeze until December 2022. [170]


  • In October 2021, The Royal Decree-Law was introduced to approve urgent measures for the protection of customers and the introduction of transparency.[171]
  • In June 2022, the government extended its measures and announced that VAT on electricity bills will be reduced from 10% to 5%, that the rent cap will be extended, discounts on fuel prices will remain until December 2022 and that there will be a €200 subsidy for wage earners, the self-employed and the unemployed registered at employment offices who live in households with an income of less than €14,000.[172]
  • With the aim of promoting public transport, a 50% reduction was approved on the price of all monthly season tickets and any multi-trip ticket for land transport provided by the state or state entities.
  • Temporary windfall tax on banking and energy companies to begin in 2023.


  • In March 2022, the government a package of measures including: fuel tax on diesel and petrol will be temporarily reduced to the lowest level permitted under EU regulations.
  • The housing allowance for families with children will be temporarily increased from July to December 2022.[173]
  • Sweden is expecting both households and industry to ration energy. However, Sweden uses significantly less natural gas, in absolute terms, in its energy makeup compared to similar sized comparators.



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