Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Angus Robertson, Member of Parliament for Moray, has pointed to new figures from Citizens Advice Scotland, which signals a large increase in the number of people experiencing periods of no income, and being unable to afford essentials such as food. The report, ‘Living at the Sharp End: CAB Clients in Crisis’ highlights a sharp increase in food bank use. The local SNP MP has branded the situation as “grossly unfair, and a sign that Tory austerity does not work”

Citizens Advice Scotland are reporting that an increasing number of people are experiencing periods of no income.

Failures in benefit provision means that individuals are unable to afford essentials including food, gas and electricity, and rent. Even more worryingly, an increasing number of people turning to CAB for help having not eaten in a number of days.

During 2014/15, advice relating to food banks was given on more than 7,400 occasions at CABs in Scotland – an increase of 47% on the previous year – and of the people seeking advice from CABs about foodbanks, one in three have children and 33% said they had a disability.

Angus Robertson MP said:

“The Tory austerity policy is deeply unfair and they should be ashamed that their welfare reforms are driving people into these desperate situations, where they have not eaten in days and cannot afford the basics.

“When David Cameron entered office in 2010, 61,468 people relied on food banks. As he left yesterday (Wednesday), that figure now stands at over 1.1 million.

“I regularly meet see many cases in my Moray Constituency Office of people failing to get the urgent support that they need.

“This is principally as a result of the cuts to the welfare system under the current UK Government, which is hitting the low income families and sick and disabled the hardest.

“The volunteers at Moray Foodbank do a fantastic job in supporting many vulnerable people in Moray, but I am sure it is a job they wish was not required.

“Too many people in Moray are falling victim to Tory austerity measures. The SNP is taking a different approach, and is committed to putting dignity and respect at the heart of social security in Scotland.

“The Scottish Government is currently spending £100m a year on mitigating the worst effects of welfare cuts, but this is money that could be much better spent addressing poverty.

“But with 85% of welfare spending still firmly in the hands of right-wing Tories, the UK Government must take urgent action to reverse the damage done by their regressive social policies to the most disadvantaged in Scotland.”