A Trussell Trust foodbank. Photo credit: Newfrontiers via photopin cc

Claims from Tory MSP Brian Whittle that his local foodbank has seen a drop in use of 30 per cent have been refuted by figures from the centre itself, which show demand had actually increased by 12 per cent in the year following the introduction of Universal Credit.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament chamber earlier this week, Brian Whittle said: “East Ayrshire is in my South Scotland region.

“When I visited its food bank centre recently, we were informed that the centre has managed to reduce the use of the food bank by 30 per cent. That message is not getting out.”

The Trussell Trust have stated that – on average – 3 months after the rollout of Universal Credit foodbanks see a 13 per cent rise in demand.

A near empty food cupboard. Photo: Oxfam.

Willie Coffey, MSP for East Ayrshire, said: “Brian Whittle has been well and truly caught out.

“This total disregard for the facts will go down badly with those hurt by the botched Universal Credit rollout – which is clearly leaving people struggling to make ends meet.

“Tory cuts are making it harder for families to cover basic costs such as food – but their MSPs are putting their fingers in their ears and trying to claim that black is white.

“It’s time to call an immediate halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit and fix the broken system.”

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