Jeane Freeman MSP Slams Tories on Food Poverty

Published date : 11 May 2017


Jeane Freeman, MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, has slammed the Tories over the growth of people using food banks.

Responding on behalf of the Scottish Government to a debate on food poverty held in the Scottish Parliament this week, Ms Freeman said;

“It is shameful that in 21st century Scotland – a country that is rich in resources and human talent – there remains a pressing need for us to tackle food poverty because there are people who cannot afford to feed themselves or their families.

“In the seven years since the Tories entered Downing Street, the number of people who need food banks has grown exponentially. We have heard that the factors behind that are complex. For me, the reasons are pretty straightforward and they lie at the Tories’ door: they are low wages, benefit cuts, benefit sanctions and benefit delays.

“Let us be clear that food poverty is a visible sign of the wider poverty that we are seeing as a result of seven years of Tory austerity and welfare cuts. There is the freeze on working benefits, and the six-week universal credit delay. The two-child policy, with its abhorrent rape clause, will cost families between £2,500 and £7,000 a year. The benefit cap affects at least 5,000 people in Scotland. The list is much longer, but all of it adds up to pushing more and more people into crisis.

“That is a state of affairs that the majority of us find shameful but, yet again, apologists in the Scottish Tories continue to ignore it, to dodge around it and to be silent on it. Their UK Governments’s failed ideology heaps more and more misery on those who are least able to withstand it, those who are in work or seeking work, the vulnerable, the disabled, the elderly and children.”


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