Local MSP Maree Todd SNP has called for a halt to the roll out of Universal Credit – the UK Government’s social security payment scheme.
5870 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis in the Highlands and Islands between 1st April and 30th September, with 1746 going to children. The figures were released by the Trussell Trust, the UK’s largest foodbank charity.
Scotland has seen a 15% increase in the number of food supplies distributed compared to the same period last year.
The Trussell Trust is calling for the reduction in the 5 week minimum wait for the first Universal Credit payment, to prevent even more people being forced to foodbanks this winter.
The Trussell Trust have also said that when Universal Credit goes live in an area, there is a demonstrable increase in demand for local foodbanks. On average, 12 months after the rollout of Universal Credit, foodbanks see a 52% increase in demand.
Maree Todd, said:
“Universal Credit is causing undeniable hardship and misery to people and families across Scotland – and the Tories’ should immediately halt its roll out.
“The Conservative’s ideological obsession with austerity will lead to billions of pounds being cut from social security spending in Scotland by the end of this decade.
“Austerity is a political choice – and it’s one imposed by a Tory government with no mandate in Scotland.
“The UK Autumn Budget failed to address the fundamental flaws in Universal Credit.
“Westminster has shown time and time again that it cannot be trusted with social security. The SNP in Government is doing what it can with our limited powers – and we’re building a new social security system with dignity, fairness and respect at its heart.”