With thanks to Paul Robertson.
Better Together Aberdeenshire were chastised on Tuesday after claiming on their social media site that the presence of food banks in Scotland was “normal” and “far from being a sign of failure.” The incredible claim comes just the day after the Scottish Government announced £500,000 of funding to assist Scottish food banks in meeting rising demand.
The post was uploaded on the ‘Better Together Aberdeenshire’ Facebook page on the evening of 11 August and was removed mid-morning of 12 August, but not before it had “gone viral on social media sites sparking an overwhelming reaction of incredulity.
Ross Cassie, a Macduff-based organiser of the Yes campaign in Aberdeenshire, commented:
“Those who volunteer their time and money to run food banks deserve our unreserved thanks. However it is intolerable that food banks even exist in a country which is as wealthy as ours.”
“The most alarming statistic is that 1 in 5 who present at local food banks are actually ‘working poor’ – that is, people who have a job but whose income simply doesn’t meet all the bills.”
“In September, we have the opportunity to reject the status quo of pervasive inequality that sends working families to food banks. We have the opportunity to take Scotland’s wealth in Scotland’s hands and make it work for all of Scotland’s people.”
The Trussell Trust, which operates 40 food banks in Scotland, recently released figures estimating a 400% increase in food banks in just two years, with 70,000 people in Scotland reliant on Trussell Trust food banks alone.
Mr Cassie added:
“There is another way Scotland can become a normal European country – and that is by voting ‘Yes’ in September.”
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I wonder if someone might be able to clarify matters for me. Food banks, which have multiplied by 400% in Scotland during the last two years of the SNP Government, are to receive £500,000 of Scottish Government funding despite the fact that the Scottish Government led Yes Campaign appear to be promising they may no longer exist following 18th September. Is this not quite a lot of money to spend to fund food banks for a matter of weeks or have I misunderstood?
It is disgusting that food banks exist at all in 21st century Scotland. It is even more disturbing that those in work have to rely on them to feed their families to a basic level. At least The Scottish Government is doing something to support this necessary project unlike Westminster, who’s answer appears to be even more austerity cuts to make life even more miserable for the poorest in society. “No Thanks” supporters seem to relish this prospect with glee. At least the “yes” camp are trying to make some attempt to tackle the ever increasing problem. Food for thought perhaps when you cast your vote on September 18th.
I’m confused Ron. The Scottish Government call the existence of food banks a disgrace and are campaigning on a promise to get rid of them but offer £500,000 to promote them. You call them “disgusting” but enthusiastically support such an initiative. What immediate action would you like to see from either Westminster or Holyrood to negate the need for these food banks which didn’t seem to exist in any meaningful way in Scotland prior to the election of an SNP Government at Holyrood.
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