Tom Arthur,SNP MSP for Renfrewshire South, has condemned Westminster Tories for throwing thousands of households across Scotland on the mercy of foodbanks, as new research from the Trussell Trust reveals an estimated 1.2 million people experienced food insecurity last year in Scotland.
The Trussell Trust’s report, ‘Hunger in the UK’, found that one in seven people across the UK went hungry last year amidst rising food prices and soaring inflation. It also exposed that 7% of Scottish households receiving charitable food support in this same period.
This is against a backdrop of an out of control Tory cost of living crisis, which saw the Tory UK government clawback winter heating support payments, cut benefits to thousands of families on Universal Credit, and preside over a soaring number of sanctions imposed on those claiming benefits.
Disabled people, carers, parents, ethnic minority communities and LGBTQ+ people were cited among groups most disproportionately at risk, with the new findings also showing that Trussell Trusts’ food banks handed out a record of almost 3 million food parcels in the last year- more than double the amount provided five years ago.
Commenting, Tom Arthur said:
“Behind these stark figures are families across Renfrewshire South struggling to make ends meet, as they grapple with the increasingly insurmountable implications of decades of Tory austerity, compounded by the additional squeeze of this Tory cost of living crisis and spiralling inflation driving wages down and the cost of living up.
“The Tories have created a 21st century crisis that would rival even the bleakest of Dickensian novels – in a country as resource rich as Scotland, it is nothing short of scandalous that 17% of adults living here went hungry last year as a direct result of Tory greed and apathy.
“It shouldn’t and doesn’t have to be like this – Scotland can choose a better path where no person in Renfrewshire South has to pick between food for the freezer or money in the meter. With the full fiscal powers of independence, we could support households through tough times and build on our transformative welfare policies to create a fairer, wealthier society for all.”