Sunday, January 19, 2020

Breadline Britain: Welfare cuts push more than 145,000 Scots to food banks

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Figures released by the Trussell Trust today (Tuesday) have shown that foodbank use in Scotland has hit new record levels as the impact of failed Tory austerity continues to hit our communities.

The latest statistics from the Trussell Trust showed that 145,865 three-day emergency food supplies were provided by the network of 52 foodbanks across Scotland in 2016/17, including 47,955 for children – a 9% increase on 2015/16.

The devastating impact of Tory austerity is leaving increasing numbers of people seeking emergency food supplies through the Trussell Trust – who cited low-income as the single biggest reason for referral to Scottish foodbanks, and benefit delays and changes also key drivers.

Trussell Trust Foodbank. Photo credit: Newfrontiers via photopin cc

Read more: Food banks report record demand amid universal credit chaos

Commenting, SNP MP Stuart Donaldson said: “Today’s latest figures from the Trussell Trust are absolutely devastating – and bring into sharp focus the disastrous impact of Tory austerity on our communities.

“After seven years of Tory rule they continue to take a slash and burn approach to wages, public services and cutting the vital social security safety net – resulting in more and more people being forced to turn to foodbanks in order to survive.

“The fact that nearly 50,000 children across Scotland had to rely on these emergency supplies is simply heart-breaking, and proof that the Tories cannot be trusted to govern in the interests of those most in need of security, shelter and care.

“Tory failures are driving this increased demand for foodbanks – and voters must take their chance in June’s election to send a clear message to this toxic and nasty Tory party that their divisive, extreme and ideologically-driven austerity obsession that is destroying our communities will not be tolerated here.”

Responding to today’s report, David McAuley, Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust said: “The move to simplify an often complex welfare system is a welcome one but any large reform can have unforeseen consequences.

“Foodbanks see first-hand how changes to the welfare system affect people on the ground, and so can offer an early warning to decision-makers.

“We are sharing our early observations with the Department for Work and Pensions to ensure any adverse side effects Universal Credit can have on people are addressed before full rollout is completed.

“We have been heartened by Secretary of State Damian Green’s willingness to engage, his department’s work to pilot improvements, and the recent changes to the Universal Credit taper rate which mean people moving into work will keep more of their earnings.

“We hope our insights can inform efforts to make sure the values on which Universal Credit is built are delivered in practice.

“To stop UK hunger we must make sure the welfare system really does work for everyone.”


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