Reacting to new Trussell Trust figures on emergency food aid, Stuart McMillan MSP has expressed alarm that 1,567 referrals were made to the food bank in Inverclyde between April and September this year. This included 365 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.
Commenting, Stuart McMillan MSP said:
“These figures are alarming – they represent 1,567 occasions where people in Inverclyde were in such dire straits that they could not afford to eat and on almost 365 occasions this happened to a family with children.
“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.”
Further information can be obtained from the Trussell Trust: www.trusselltrust.org