NICOLA Sturgeon has been accused of having “failed to target support to those most in need” amid alarm at a lack of help for Scots in the Chancellor’s spring statement.

The First Minister, who labelled the package of measures from Rishi Sunak as giving a “callous disregard for the poorest in our society”, is facing claims of not using her government’s devolved powers to their full affect to mitigate the cost-of-living crisis.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Labour leader Anas Sarwar called on the SNP Government to do more.

He said: “Yesterday, faced with the biggest fall in living standards since rationing, the Chancellor failed to present a spring statement that would make life easier for millions of families.

“He failed to introduce a windfall tax, he failed to put more money in people’s pockets and he raised the tax burden on millions of families across the UK.”

Mr Sarwar added: “In her government’s budget, the First Minister had the opportunity to tackle the cost-of-living crisis. But just like the Tories, they failed.

“Giving households less than £4 a week in a council tax rebate, copying Rishi Sunak’s policy just won’t cut it.”

He accused Ms Sturgeon of doing “not enough to confront this crisis”.

The First Minister pointed to her government’s decision to double the Scottish child payment, which she said was “game-changing for families with children living in poverty” and claimed that Labour “shamefully voted against that measures” by failing to back the Budget.

Turning to the spring statement, Ms Sturgeon said: “It showed a callous disregard for the misery that people are already facing and the misery that is only going to get much, much worse.

“Household incomes and about to suffer their biggest fall in more than 60 years.

“There was nothing to help the poor and those on the lowest incomes and I think it was shameful.

“I think the most shameful thing about the Chancellor’s announcements yesterday is that he squirreled away money for pre-election bribes – money that could be spent right now to help those in desperate circumstances. His actions in that regard were disgusting.”

The First Minister added: “We have limited powers and we have limited resources but due to our wider, long-standing policies, people here already pay less than average in council tax, less in water bills and in rail fares.

“We have taken the decision to uprate devolved benefits by six per cent and it’s the failure south of the border to do that that’s having the biggest impact on low income families.”

The FM insisted that her government will "continue to do everything that we possibly can within our powers and resources".

But Mr Sarwar stressed that “the First Minister wants to obsess about powers she doesn’t have”.

He added: “She’s been in government for 15 years – she has power, use that power to change people’s lives. That’s what the job is for.”

The Labour leader accused Ms Sturgeon of having “failed to target support to those most in need” and said she has decided to “increase rail fares and put up water charges for Scottish households”.

The First Minister insisted that "we are using our powers”, again pointing to the Scottish Child Payment as the “principle example of that”.

She added: “We will continue to look at what more we can do.”

Pointing to Mr Sarwar’s appeal, the First Minister said “he’d have more credibility if he didn’t also back the retention of these powers over welfare, over public spending in the hands of Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak”.

The Labour leader cautioned that “as usual the First Minister wants to make this a constitutional debate”.

He said: “I hate to break it to her. See whether you voted Yes or No, your bills are still going up and you need help from this government.”

In response the First Minister said: “There is a wave of human misery being experienced right now. It’s only going to get worse”.

She claimed that whilst Scotland remains part of the UK, “we are always going to be limited in this parliament in terms of what we can do. When is he going to wake up and realise that?”