Figures released by the Trussell Trust, a charity that has set up many food banks across the country, are truly alarming: it distributed more than 150,000 three-day emergency food packs between April and July 2013. This reflects the catastrophic effects welfare reforms are having on many families.
Many of those getting assistance from the food banks are being referred by care and benefit advisers – surely this avenue was not part of their job remit? This problem is only going to get worse as a result of the introduction of Universal Credit this autumn and it has also been confirmed by Ed Balls that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat cuts would be continued by a future Labour government, but on a grander scale.
This is a disgraceful blight on our country and must be addressed at the highest level. Welfare is the conscience of a country and decisions on welfare that affect the people of Scotland deserve to be taken in Scotland.
Catriona C Clark