FOOD BANK USE IN SCOTLAND INCREASES 17 PER CENT

OSBORNE MUST PREVENT FURTHER HARDSHIP AND SCRAP TAX CREDIT CUTS

Reacting to new Trussell Trust figures on emergency food aid, the SNP has expressed alarm that food bank use in Scotland has increased 17 per cent in April to September 2015 compared to the same quarter last year.

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 social security delays and cuts.

Commenting, West Dunbartonshire SNP MP Martin Docherty said:

“These figures are alarming – they represent 60,000 occasions where people in Scotland were in such dire straits that they could not afford to eat and in almost 20,000 occasions this happened to a family with children.

The figures also show that UK Government social security 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 the Union’s 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 – I will not let up on my opposition to these callous cuts. And if they do go ahead the SNP stand ready to do everything we can to protect low income households in Scotland.”