I am glad to hear that local foodbank, Basics Foodbank, has reported a reduction in those using their service which has dropped from 174 in December, 2015, to 139 in December, 2016. This is the second year there has been a reduction. A huge 227 people turned to them in December, 2014. The fact that people must turn to a foodbank at Christmas of all times shows the devastation that Tory economic and welfare policies are causing.
I believe the reduction is due to people being made aware of, and accessing, services which mean they only use a food bank as a last resort. The Scottish Welfare Fund – set up by the Scottish Government to mitigate the Tory sanction regime and welfare cuts – has been invaluable in assisting people in need who often have nowhere else to turn.
Services such as Welfare Rights and Citizen’s Advice Bureaux have also been a great source of assistance.
My office provides similar services regarding welfare appeals for example, which is one of the most common reasons people turn to food banks.
Without complete control over taxation, welfare and employment law, the Scottish Government cannot get people out of poverty and into work, or create a fair welfare system.