Labour to make Scotland world’s “fairest nation”

Labour will end the need for food banks and make Scotland the “fairest nation on earth”, Jim Murphy said today.

Picture: TSPL

The party leader branded their presence a “scandal” as he outlined plans for a £175 million Scottish Anti-Poverty Fund.

Mr Murphy today visited an Edinburgh distribution centre for food banks and said the fund would have a direct impact in key areas.

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It would extend the Scottish Welfare Fund’s crisis grants for people in emergency situations and provide support for financial and other advice services to be based at food banks.

There will also be further support and promotion of credit unions in Scotland to provide an alternative to legal loan sharks.

“It is a scandal that thousands of Scots are forced to exist on food hand-outs, and worse that for too many the only hot meal they can afford is a Pot-Noodle or Cup-a-Soup,” Mr Murphy said today.

“The number of Scottish families forced to depend on food hand-outs has rocketed in the last three years. It’s a disgrace that in a country as rich as ours so many people have to rely on being fed by charity. It’s time to call a halt to food poverty in Scotland.

“And for many other people, they are just a broken fridge or boiler away from being in serious financial trouble.

“After five years of the Tories, even having a job doesn’t guarantee freedom from poverty.”

Following his visit to the distribution centre, Mr Murphy visited a community café where he prepared a “kettle box” food pack. These are given to people who have no access to proper cooking facilities.

Mr Murphy added: “Labour will abolish the Tories’ bedroom tax and we will use the savings to establish a £175 million Scottish Anti-Poverty Fund.

“We will drive up living standards by banning exploitative zero hours contracts, raise the minimum wage and extend the living wage.

“We have a vision for Scotland. A country where people in crisis are supported, not forced to queue for hand-outs.”

“We will build the fairest nation on earth. That will start with a UK Labour Government in May.”