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George outside Paisley Museum

Tory Welfare Cuts Behind Rise In Food Bank Use

Paisleys MSP, George Adam, has criticised the UK government for “driving families to food banks” after new figures reveal the number of food parcels has increased over the past year.

 

The Trussell Trust’s annual foodbank statistics show that the number of food parcels distributed in Scotland surged by 17% in 2017-18 to record levels – with Tory welfare policy remaining the main driver.

 

Benefit delays and sanctions are the primary reason for referrals, with the roll-out of universal credit a factor in the rise.

 

The SNP have called on the UK government to reverse the benefits freeze and introduce a real living wage to help ensure families have enough money to live on.

 

Commenting, George said:George outside Paisley Museum

 

“It’s a disgrace that families in Paisley and across Scotland are having to rely on emergency food parcels just to get by.

 

“Millions of families across the UK are suffering from a Tory pay cut – as rising prices, stagnant wages, and cuts to social security continue to squeeze living standards and push households into poverty, debt and crisis.

 

“These figures from the Trussell Trust show that the problem is getting worse – with food bank usage rising year on year. Tory policies are making it harder for families to cover even the basic costs of food, housing, and bills.

 

“Families cannot afford another year of Tory cuts. It is vital that the UK government finally takes meaningful action to boost incomes. This must include delivering a real living wage and reverse the benefits freeze to help ensure families have enough money to live on.”

The Child Poverty Delivery Plan

                                                                                George Adam Welcomes Child Poverty Delivery Plan


Paisleys MSP, George Adam, has welcomed a range of Scottish Government proposals to tackle child poverty – including plans for a new income supplement, which will provide financial support to families who need it most.

Increasing family incomes and reducing living costs are prioritised in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, which sets out how the Scottish Government will meet ambitious legal targets to tackle child poverty.

Actions include a new £12 million employment support fund will help parents in work progress their careers and support unemployed parents into work.

Other initiatives include a new national entitlement for the School Clothing Grant, to help with the costs of uniforms and sports kits, and new support for after-school and holiday childcare, helping parents work more flexibly and increase their incomes.

The report comes after independent analysis found that, if the Scottish Government did nothing, Tory welfare cuts would mean 38% of Scottish children would be in relative poverty by 2030/31.

Commenting, George said:

“In a country as prosperous as Scotland no child should have their chances limited by poverty.

“I’m delighted that this ambitious plan includes a range of actions to support families in Paisley with the cost of living and direct financial support.

“And the ambitious proposal for a new, targeted income supplement show that, when we have the power, the SNP will take action to make Scotland a fairer, stronger country.

“Under Tory cuts, money being is taken from the pockets of low income families, pushing them into crisis, debt, and poverty, with our public services and emergency aid responding as best they can.

“That is why the SNP in government will take action to increase household incomes and reduce costs, supporting children and families here and now.”

                   

 

 


 

Minister Denies Google Maps Jobcentres Bungle

A CABINET minister has denied that the DWP used google maps to identify jobcentres for closure in Glasgow, despite officials admitting it on more than one occasion.
Damian Green, work and Pensions Secretary told MP and MSPs that was not how the department operated and agreed it was not the right way to do business.

Mr Green was giving evidence to a special joint session of the Westminster and Holyrood Social Security committees in the House of Commons.

He was quizzed over the plans to shut half of Glasgow’s jobcentres and was asked about using google maps.

 

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

 

 

George Adam, Paisley SNP MSP asked about DWP officials using google maps to determine which offices should close and which remain open.

He said: “Surely that’s not the right way to do business?”

Mr Green replied: “It’s not and we don’t do it that way.”

 

 

However Denise Horsfall, Scotland work Director for the DWP who is in charge of the process to shut Jobcentres in Glasgow previously admitted they did.
She said in January in an interview with the Evening Times, when asked if the routes between centres had been tested by staff in person, Ms Horsfall said: “I would love to say I sent my team out but they have got other work to do. I did use maps and the traveline website.”

The House of Commons library also records Ms Horsfall and Neil Couling a fellow official in giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament social security committee stating: “In determining travelling distances, DWP had used Traveline and Google Maps.”

 

Mr Green was also challenged on the justifications given by the DWP for closing eight Jobcentres in the Glasgow area.JobCentre_778x436

Pauline McNeill, Glasgow Labour MSP, asked Mr Green about his comments that more people were using services online and told him that the situation in Glasgow was not the same as in other cities.

She said: “Glasgow is one of the poorest cities in the UK with huge pockets of deprivation.

“One in four people do not have access to the internet. You cannot compare Glasgow to cities like Leeds without looking at levels of poverty.”

Rutherglen SNP MP, Margaret Ferrier, had told the Secretary of State, that Glasgow was being treated disproportionately with 50% of centres being closed compared to 20% across the UK.

Mr Green said that there was too much unused space and the tax payer had to get better value for money.”

The plan is for seven of the 14 Glasogw Jobcentres to close and also for Cambuslang to shut and services moved to Rutherglen.

The Evening Times Hands off Our Jobcentres campaign has called for the plans to be halted and Jobcentres to be retained in the communities where they are needed most. the campaign has attracted widespread support across political parties and from churches and trade unions.

 

_92246155_cwvfyd4wiaafwduI, Daniel Blake film director, Ken Loach also supported our call to stop the closures.

Mr Green said that the proposals for Glasgow were still under consideration.

He said: There is a consultation going on. We haven’t yet come to a final conclusion of what we are going to do in Glasgow. I would ask everyone to be patient.”

 

Evening Times – 21/03/17 – Stewart Paterson, Political Correspondent