NEW FIGURES REVEAL 400% INCREASE IN FOODBANK USE IN LAST YEAR
Wednesday, 16 April 2014 14:13
MACDONALD HIGHLIGHTS GRIM REALITY OF WESTMINSTER CUTS
Figures from the Trussell Trust showing that the number of people using their foodbanks has increased by 400% in Scotland have been described as a demonstration of the grim reality of Westminster’s cuts.
The figures show that in 2012/13 Scottish foodbanks provided help to 14,318 people, but in 2013/14 that figure had increased by 400% to 71,428.
Of those people in Scotland using foodbanks last year, 22,387 - more than 30% - were children.
The Trussell Trust cites benefit changes, benefit delays and low income as the key causes of people in Scotland seeking support from their foodbanks.
At SNP Conference on Friday, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced a £1 million package of support for foodbanks that will help them to provide the support that many people are now relying upon.
Commenting, SNP MSP Angus MacDonald, said:
“It is an absolute disgrace that in a country as wealthy as Scotland, Westminster’s actions have forced over 70,000 people in Scotland to rely on foodbanks to survive.
“In Falkirk District, 3600 adults and 1532 children have had food parcels from the foodbank last year.
“I have seen first-hand the excellent work carried out by Alf Collington and his team at the Falkirk Foodbank and am impressed by their dedication and the numbers of families they assist.
“It is the grim reality of Westminster’s cuts that has seen foodbank use increase by 400% in the last year alone.
“It doesn’t have to be this way and the referendum in September gives Scotland the chance to do things differently.
“While Westminster’s cuts are forcing people to rely on foodbanks, the Scottish Government is doing what it can to mitigate Westminster’s actions. That is why the SNP Government has announced a £1 million package of support for foodbanks.
“Yet what Scotland really needs is the responsibility for our own decisions on tax and welfare so that people are no longer forced to rely upon foodbanks.
“With a Yes vote in September, we will be able to ensure that Scotland’s tax and welfare system reflect the priorities of people in Scotland and does not let people down as Westminster has so disgracefully done.”