Scottish families forced to rely on charity handouts: report paints picture of ‘dickensian’ Scotland ~ CAS

Published 4th September 2012

Thousands of people in Scotland are being forced to rely on charities for food handouts, according to new evidence from Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS). The report published today (Tuesday) shows that the numbers of Scottish CAB clients who have made a charitable application has doubled over the last 2 years to 2,200.

The report also finds that:

  • Charities who provide emergency food parcels have themselves reported significant increases in clients. e.g. the Trussell Trust alone gave out food parcels to over 128,000 people (UK-wide) in 2011/12 – that’s more than double the number in the previous year.

  • Most of those who need these services are low-income families who are experiencing some sort of crisis point, whether it is unemployment or losing benefit entitlement.

  • Evidence suggests that the impact of the welfare changes will make the situation even worse over the next few years.

Publishing the report, CAS Chief Executive Margaret Lynch says,“The report reveals a Dickensian situation facing many of Scotland’s low paid workers and people who rely on welfare benefits.

“Charities like the Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul have always been there to provide practical assistance for families facing a crisis who temporarily could not feed themselves. In this recession, there has been an exponential increase in the number of working families and people on benefits who are needing help to feed their children and themselves.

“The National Minimum Wage has failed to keep pace with the massive increase in food prices over the last 5 years leaving many low income families facing food insecurity. The fact that 50% of those getting food parcels are working is shocking.

“The fact that the remaining 50% who rely on food parcels do so because their benefit payments are delayed or because of changes to their benefits entitlement is both avoidable and disgraceful.

“Sadly this indignity is about to be inflicted on many more of our fellow Scots as welfare changes begin to bite.  The welfare state was set up to provide a safety net from cradle to grave. The safety net has been withdrawn, and the task of feeding the poor once more falls to the Churches and Charitable organisations whose philanthropy once helped to feed the poor of the industrial revolution.”

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Comments
  • Laz September 8, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    All over the Uk this is happening were all in this together.When the forced labour market starts to be available wadges will drop even for the middle classes .Only then will they realise they have been sold out.

  • jeffery davies September 9, 2012 at 11:53 am

    mps flipping houses torys wondering whot to have for tea us will go without as we cant afford it as benefits cut and with others stopped so it seeems that our politicians play with the till and flipping their houses rather than stop the abuse of us and that is why we got to this christians they are not greed with their hand held out for more its mind boggling that they allow it decent mps not many of these who will stand and be countd thatchers world help by blair to bring dispair hurry along will you go piecefully will you jeff3

  • Christina Klein-Bissett September 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    The huge raise in food prices drives me insane. I wonder how long this can go on before all those of us who can walk, stand, sit or (in my case probably crawl) will unite in huge numbers to stop this government from killing us slowly but surely.I keep getting advice to change my name to something else than my real one but I will not get scared. What is happening in this country breaches human rights and I still can not believe that able bodied people , apart from relatives, carers and friends will not join us to end this tyranny. YOU ( able bodied now) could be disabled tomorrow…I pray that people will wake up until its to late. We need to stop this insanity.

  • Christina Klein-Bissett September 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    before its to late..sorry for the mistake

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