Monday, January 20, 2020

Food bank use in Scotland up 80% in five years

"Brutal" impact of austerity and welfare cuts laid bare.

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The number of foodbank parcels handed out in Scotland rose by almost 80% in 5 years, according to shocking new statistics provided by the Trussell Trust.

The SNP has highlighted the “brutal” impact of Tory austerity and welfare cuts, with figures showing that in 2018/19, 210,605 people turned to Trussell Trust foodbanks – an increase of over 100,000 in 5 years.

According to the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN), The Trussell Trust represent around 57% of Scottish food banks in use.

An additional 159, 849 food parcels were given out by independent food banks in Scotland in 2018/19, with the figures following a trend of increased demand since the roll out of the UK Government’s discredited Universal Credit policy.

The SNP government says it has been working to develop a social security system “with dignity and fairness at its heart”.

This involves the introduction of a raft of new benefits that the SNP claim are providing much needed financial support to low income families, including new Best Start Grants and the Carers Allowance Supplement.

The SNP government has also announced plans for a brand new benefit which will provide eligible families with £10 a week for every child under 16 by 2022, with under 6s to get early introduction by Christmas next year.

Shona Robison MSP said: “There is no getting away from the fact the Tories’ welfare changes and cuts are to blame for rising poverty and debt, homelessness and the need for foodbanks.

“The grim reality is that the poorest in our society are being forced to choose between feeding their families and heating their homes – something which DWP ministers have finally admitted to, but done nothing to fix.

“Under the Tories, poverty has risen dramatically, yet day after day, Tory government representatives obstinately refuse to acknowledge the turmoil their policies are causing and plough on with brutal cuts regardless.

“This new Tory government must heed the warnings of front-line organisations all over the country, and act before more families and children and are pushed into poverty on their watch.”

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