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MSP blasts Tory leadership candidates for 'silence' on child poverty

By Alan Beresford

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A NORTH-east MSP has slammed the Tory leadership candidates for their "silence" on child poverty.

MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Karen Adam.
MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Karen Adam.

SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Karen Adam's accusation came as a new report highlights the scale of the cost of living with Westminster.

A report from Citizens Advice Scotland on Universal Credit underlines the struggles households across Scotland are facing - revealing that the need for food banks has grown by almost a third (31 per cent) since September 2021.

The report, titled The Perfect Storm, calls for Westminster to immediately uprate Universal Credit and all legacy benefits, a suspension of sanctions, scrapping the benefit cap and the two-child limit, pausing the collection of all DWP and HMRC debts, and converting all Advance Payments at the beginning of UC claims into non-repayable assessment period grants.

Ms Adam said that while recent research has shown that the efforts of the SNP Scottish Government is making a real difference to those struggling, through actions such as uprating devolved benefits and introducing the ‘game-changing’ Scottish Child Payment, she went on to state that “progress is being undermined by decades of Westminster austerity policies and a Tory leadership contest ignoring the cost of living crisis”.

Ms Adam said: “It is utterly shameful to see such an increase in foodbank use in a place as wealthy as the UK.

"Yet, sadly, it’s not surprising that families in Banffshire and Buchan Coast are struggling to get by as prices continue to rise but Westminster fails to take any meaningful action to help and every single Tory leadership candidate is silent on the matter of child poverty and the cost of living crisis.

“Research shows the actions of the SNP Scottish Government are making a real difference to those in Banffshire and Buchan Coast struggling as it doing all it can with the powers at its disposal to support households through these tough times, but these efforts are constantly fighting against cruel Westminster policies.

“The Tories’ silence on poverty has been deafening and it’s clear that the last thing people in Banffshire and Buchan need is a different Prime Minister – we need a different future with independence and the full welfare powers it gives Scotland to build a fairer, wealthier and happier country.”

The Citizens Advice Scotland report can be viewed at https://www.cas.org.uk/publications/perfect-storm-living-universal-credit-during-cost-living-crisis

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