There is a grim ‘pass-the-parcel’ game going on in Galloway with people desperately seeking State help being immediately sent to the nearest charity foodbank.
This claim has been made as it was revealed that the increase in use of foodbanks in Galloway’s region is the second highest in Scotland.
Statistics show the number of folk having to resort to charity to feed themselves and their families rocketed by 44 per cent in a year, placing Dumfries and Galloway in second place out of Scotland’s 32 council areas for rising need.
South Scotland MSP, Emma Harper of the SNP has called on the Home Secretary Amber Rudd to “fully apologise and take responsibility for the Conservative Government’s failed roll-out of Universal Credit which is causing a rise in foodbank use across South West Scotland.”
The Home Secretary this week admitted a connection between UK government policy and food bank use, saying: “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 that people had difficulty accessing their money early enough.”
Commenting, Ms Harper said: “With the Tories now accepting that their policies have left people dependent on charity to feed themselves, we urgently need a new approach to welfare based on the Scottish Government’s approach of dignity, fairness and respect.”
Mark Frankland, manager of Dumfries and Galloway’s First Base Agency Foodbank, said: “There seems to be a new routine in place.
“When a person applies for Universal Credit at the JobCentre, they generally emerge from the building with a referral for a food bank parcel.”