Reports that food bank use in Scotland reached record levels in December have been described as showing an “appalling lack of concern” at Westminster for the impact of its actions.
The BBC has reported that 10,489 people visited one of the Trussell Trust’s 48 food banks in Scotland in December, a 13% increase on the 9,263 people the previous year and the highest figure yet recorded by the charity.
One third of those who visited the food banks were children.
Despite the alarming rise in food bank use in Scotland following the introduction of Westminster’s welfare cuts, UK ministers continue to refuse to appear in front of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee to discuss the effect of their decisions.
SNP MSP Kevin Stewart said:
“The fact that record numbers of people in Scotland had to rely on food banks last month is heartbreaking. Behind each of these visits is an individual or family that has been driven to the brink by Westminster’s actions.
“It is abundantly clear that the welfare cuts that the Westminster Government has inflicted on people across Scotland have directly contributed to the dramatic rise in the number of people forced to rely on food banks to survive.
“The fact that the Westminster Government has allowed the number of people using food banks to grow and grow without taking action to reverse their cuts shows an appalling lack of concern.
“When UK ministers refuse time and time again to appear in front of the Scottish Parliament to justify their actions, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that they simply do not care about the damage they are doing.
“It underlines why Westminster cannot be trusted to make welfare decisions for Scotland.
“We need to gain responsibility for our own welfare choices in Scotland – something that we will only be able to secure by electing a strong team of SNP MPs in May’s election.”