Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



SNP MSP Richard Lochhead has slammed the UK government’s cuts to welfare, after Moray Food Plus released figures showing that food bank use in Moray continues to rise.

Figures published by Moray Food Plus reveal that in the first 6 months of this financial year the food bank received 1132 referrals – a 57% increase on the same period last year. The number of people supported by the food bank between April and September increased by 74% to 2470.   

Food bank providers have said the rise is largely due to the in-built minimum wait of five weeks for a first payment for those migrated to Universal Credit – with many more people forced to wait even longer than five weeks.

The United Nationals Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights visited the UK to investigate the impact of austerity, and has reported on  the effects of the UK Government’s failing efforts to tackle poverty in the UK, the impact of austerity measures, welfare cuts, Universal Credit, and Brexit.

Commenting on the figures, Richard Lochhead said:

“It is truly heart-breaking that foodbank use continues to rise in Moray and these devastating figures show the very real impact Tory Government welfare cuts are having on people in our local communities.

“The UK Government’s swingeing cuts to welfare is taking £13m every year out of the pockets of people in Moray – that’s a huge sum of money and it is forcing families in our communities into poverty.

“People in and out of work in Moray are being pushed to the brink, to the point where people are skipping meals and turning to charity to feed their children.

“Increasing food bank use is not only a damning indictment of UK Government cuts, it’s also sign that that the current welfare system is broken. People in Moray are being let down by a system that is supposed to support them – instead it is pushing them into poverty.

“Our local food bank has become an unfortunate necessity and we owe a huge debt to the volunteers and staff who are stepping in to support families in Moray.”