UK GOV TO BLAME FOR “YEARS OF UNNECESSARY CRUELTY AND SUFFERING
Tory MSPs must apologise for the Tories refusal to accept responsibility over the rise in foodbank demand, SNP MSP Shona Robison has said – after DWP boss Amber Rudd finally admitted Universal Credit was leaving people without food.
Foodbank providers and other experts have consistently argued that there was a direct link between Tory welfare reform and the staggering rise in food poverty.
Despite the overwhelming evidence, Tory welfare spokesperson Michelle Ballantyne argued: “What we haven't got is hard evidence about what the real causes are… I haven't yet seen the concrete evidence of where that's coming from.”
Amber Rudd yesterday admitted that there was a direct connection, saying: “It is absolutely clear that there were challenges with the initial rollout of Universal Credit –and the main issue that led to an increase in food bank use could have been the fact that people had difficulty accessing their money early enough.”
Commenting, SNP MSP Shona Robison said:
“We have known for years that Tory cuts were driving up foodbank demand – yet Tory politicians preferred to stick their fingers in their ears than accept reality.
“The impact in Dundee has been undeniable.
“Finally Amber Rudd has admitted that Universal Credit has left people penniless – although that admission fell well short of the apology required.
“The Tories must now accept that they were wrong to deny the link – and Tory MSPs should apologise for the shameful impact their party’s approach has had, inflicting years of unnecessary cruelty and suffering.
“And with the Tories accepting that their policies have left people dependent on charity to feed themselves, we urgently need a new approach to welfare – modelled on the Scottish example, built on dignity and respect.”
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Amber Rudd links universal credit to rise in food bank use
Reality Check: Previous Tory denials over welfare reform impact (Oct 2018)