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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.”

2842 Referrals to Food Banks in Renfrewshire in Last Three Months

Reacting to new Trussell Trust figures on emergency food aid, Paisley’s MSP George Adam has expressed alarm that 2842 referrals were made to food banks in Renfrewshire between April and September this year. This included 724 referrals for children.

Overall, the number of food bank referrals in Scotland has increased to over 60,000 in the last quarter and 44 per cent of these were for benefit delays and cuts.George Serious Paisley Town Hall

Commenting, George said:

“These figures are absolutely scandalous! We live in a wealthy country, there is no need for anyone to go without food. 724 children in the last three months in our area have been referred to a food banks. How can children being referred to food banks be a thing in modern Scotland? One simple answer, David Cameron, George Osborne and Ian Duncan Smith. These figures sicken me.

“I have people coming to my office every week who cannot afford to eat, unable to heat their homes, unable to put clothes on their children. It is disgraceful that after 5 years of these draconian Tory welfare policies, when things are getting worse, the Tories chose to ignore the consequences of their actions.

“There have been 2842 occasions where people in Renfrewshire were in such dire straits that they could not afford to eat. The figures also show that UK Government benefit changes and delays continue to be the most common reason for people seeking emergency food aid. While Tory Ministers have their head in the sand on the issue, the Scottish Government recognises this link and is spending almost £300 million over three years to mitigate Tory social security cuts.

“That any government would consider further cuts to the incomes of the poorest families in our society in the face of such clear evidence of rising poverty is appalling – yet George Osborne is set to plough ahead with £12 billion more social security cuts.

“These new figures will put further pressure on George Osborne to scrap his planned cuts to Tax Credits – we will not let up on our opposition to these callous cuts. And if they do go ahead we stand ready to protect low income households in Scotland.”