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Cumbernauld's MSP: "extreme poverty" caused by UK Government cuts is "completely unforgivable"

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 22:47 GMT on Thursday, May 30th, 2013.

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CUMBRERNAULD and Kilsyth’s MSP is warning that of the huge human cost of the Westminster system's austerity agenda , after an Oxfam report – published today - revealed over half a million people in the UK are forced into using food banks to stave off hunger and destitution. 

The report by worldwide human aid charity, Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty appears to illustrate a dramatic rise in the number of people and families who are forced to ask for help to feed themselves due to welfare cuts and rising cost of living in the UK.

The report shows the number of people using food banks has trebled in the past year alone and is set to continue rising rapidly in the UK which is the fourth most unequal society in the developed world. 

Jamie Hepburn MSP, Deputy Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare reform Committee, said the report shows the “enormity” of “extreme poverty” caused by austerity. 

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He said: "This report shows the enormity of the scale of extreme poverty in the UK caused by the Westminster system's austerity agenda.

"Food banks do a vital service but it is completely unforgivable that this is the state UK society is in. Half a million people being forced to queue up for food donations as a direct result of the Westminster system's draconian austerity measures is nothing short of sickening.

"The Scottish Government and the SNP are doing what it can to mitigate the impact of welfare changes by blocking the cuts in council tax benefit, refusing to evict those who are trying to pay their rent but are losing out because of the bedroom tax and supporting families in hardship through the social fund, but without the tools we cannot fix all the problems.

The SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth added: "The UK government must look at the evidence and take action.  It is not acceptable to continue with these draconian cuts when they are pushing families into poverty and hardship.

"While the UK government continues down this road, making the poor poorer, and the anti-independence No campaign tries to tell the people of Scotland that this is as good as it gets, more than ever it is clear that only a Yes vote in September 2014 can make Scotland a fairer country to live, work and raise a family."

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