Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar has commented on the Trussell Trust report which today published its findings on foodbank use in the Western Isles.

In the islands, between April 2017 and March 2018, the report found that there were 616 three-day emergency food supplies given to people facing crisis by the Trussell Trust Foodbank Network, with 227 going to children.

Across Scotland, the report found 170,625 three-day emergency food supplies to people in crisis, with 55,038 of these were provided for children.

Commenting, Na h-Eileanan an Iar MSP Alasdair Allan said:

“These findings are a concern to everyone, and reflect the sad and devastating legacy of the UK Government’s austerity agenda, which has now continued for the best part of a decade. One referral here in the islands is one too many, never mind 616, as the report indicates.

“Foodbanks are run by passionate individuals who seek provide a safety net, and act as a last-resort for those living in poverty. I commend the hard-work of those involved, particularly with the foodbank in Stornoway and the newly established foodbank in Uist. The UK Government’s austerity agenda, sanctions system and flawed universal credit rollout are making foodbank use far too every-day and common in our communities.

“I fully support the Trussell Trust’s call for an urgent review into the Universal Credit Rollout, and re-iterate my call for the rollout to be halted immediately, before it reaches the Western Isles later this year.

“With our limited powers over welfare, the Scottish Government is building a Scottish social security agency with dignity and respect at its heart. Considerable support is being given to low-income families through the Scottish Welfare fund too.

“But the extent of Westminster cuts to the welfare state, brutal sanctions programme, and much maligned universal credit rollout are causing families to be left in complete destitution, and forced to use food-banks. The findings of this report clearly show why we need full powers over social security in Scotland – not in the hands of the Tories.”

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