In recent weeks, like most politicians, I have been out speaking to voters ahead of the local election.

Putting aside any party political point scoring it has shocked me just how many people in our region are already feeling the brunt of the cost of living crisis.

Whether it is South or East Ayrshire there are families on almost every street who are expecting a hit to their finances in terms of thousands of pounds, not hundreds.

These are not solely families who are already experiencing the sharp end of our economy either, though they will as ever feel the impact most violently.

A number of households I spoke to had both parents in well paid secure jobs yet they were calculating the impact energy price increases will have and concluding that serious changes will have to be made.

In some cases people are cancelling holidays, in others parents are cutting back on food for themselves in order to make sure their kids are getting the nutrition they need.

Yet despite all of this there appears to be a sense of business as usual when I go through to the Scottish Parliament to represent South Scotland.

The problem of soaring prices is not likely to disappear any time soon and yet it is not being treated with the urgency it demands.

I will make sure it is the focus of my time at Holyrood over the rest of this year, as constituents would expect and demand.

On a related point, we recently celebrated Workers Memorial Day (April) 28 and as always we are urged to remember the dead, and fight for the living.

During a spell of years when we lost so many people to Covid, thousands of whom who would have caught it doing their jobs to provide for their families, or indeed to look after others who had Covid, this statement has never been more important.

Part of fighting for the living means that we have a duty to ensure a basic standard by under which no one should fall.

I ask my colleagues across the aisle and in all circles of power locally and nationally, when a family is unable to guarantee that their kids can go to school with a full belly, surely we have fallen far too far?