Scottish Tories under pressure as spike in child poverty and food banks linked to austerity

More than one in four Scottish children now live in poverty

THE SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVES have come under pressure over austerity policies, after a spike in foodbank use and child poverty prompts renewed fears over the UK Governments direction after the June General Election.

Figures from the Trussel Trust foodbank charity show that foodbank use has spiked 9 per cent in 2016-17, with the use of emergency three-day food packages rising to 145,865 in Scotland, including 47, 955 to children.

Across the UK, the trust supplied 1,182,954, up from 1,109,309 in 2015-16

Responding to the report released by the Trussel Trust SNP MP Stuart Donaldson said: “Today’s latest figures from the Trussell Trust are absolutely devastating – and bring into sharp focus the disastrous impact of Tory austerity on our communities.

“After seven years of Tory rule they continue to take a slash and burn approach to wages, public services and cutting the vital social security safety net – resulting in more and more people being forced to turn to foodbanks in order to survive.

The rise in child poverty, identified in a Scottish Government report, would bring the number of Scottish children living in poverty to more than one in four.

“The fact that nearly 50,000 children across Scotland had to rely on these emergency supplies is simply heart-breaking, and proof that the Tories cannot be trusted to govern in the interests of those most in need of security, shelter and care.

“Tory failures are driving this increased demand for foodbanks – and voters must take their chance in June’s election to send a clear message to this toxic and nasty Tory party that their divisive, extreme and ideologically-driven austerity obsession that is destroying our communities will not be tolerated here.”

The Trussel Trust highlighted that food bank growth is twice as high in areas of the UK that have seen the full roll-out of Universal Credit, a flagship Tory benefits policy which critics say will curb benefits for many and has faced problems with implementation, with thousands of recipients falling into debt and rent arrears due to payments being stalled by up to 42 days.

The new report comes after UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn slammed the UK Government at the STUC conference in Aviemore yesterday (24 April), blaming a 40,000 increase in child poverty in Scotland on austerity measures.

The rise in child poverty, identified in a Scottish Government report, would bring the number of Scottish children living in poverty to more than one in four – up from the current one in five.

The Scottish Conservatives are standing in the 8 June General Election on a programme of increased austerity cuts and support for hard Brexit, despite leader Ruth Davidson having campaigned to Remain in the EU.

CommonSpace approached the Scottish Conservatives for comment, but they did not respond.

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Picture courtesy of Staffs Live

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