New figures published today show that one in five families in the UK can’t afford to feed their children. The research has been published jointly by Fareshare, the Trussell Trust and Tescos.
Responding to these statistics, Citizens Advice Scotland’s Chief Executive Margaret Lynch said:
“Sadly these figures won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has worked in a Scottish CAB. Right across the country, our advisers are having to deal every day with people who are struggling to make ends meet, and increasing numbers whose situation is so bad that they and their families are living in real poverty.
“In just the last three months Scottish CAB advisers saw nearly 300 people whose situation was so bad that they had to be referred to a food-bank or other form of emergency support. That means they literally could not afford to feed themselves that day, nevermind pay the rent or heating bills. It is no longer unusual for a CAB to deal with such a case.
“It’s very important to understand that the recession is not the only reason for this. The UK government’s welfare reforms have also had a devastating impact on many people throughout Scotland – and those who have suffered most are those who were on the lowest incomes to begin with. These include sick and disabled people as well as families with young children.
“Such people were hit hard by the recession, and many of them have then seen their benefits cut as well. Figures like those published today are the inevitable result. Many people in our society are now living in poverty, and are finding they can’t rely on the welfare safety net that is supposed to support them.”