Food Bank Use (Income Supplement)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 25th April 2019.

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The First Minister:

We will bring forward in June our plans on the income supplement. I am sure that Parliament will scrutinise them carefully. However, let us look at the Trussell Trust report that was published this morning. The rise in food bank use is utterly unacceptable: let us hear what the Trussell Trust’s operations manager in Scotland has said about it. She said:

“Our benefits system is supposed to protect us all from being swept into poverty.

Universal credit should be part of the solution but, currently, the five-week wait is leaving many without enough money to cover the basics.

As a priority, we are urging the Government to end the wait for universal credit.”

Universal credit is the responsibility of the UK Government. The question for Richard Leonard is this: will he join the Labour Party in Wales, which said this morning in response to the Trussell Trust report that the rise in food bank use is not the fault of the Labour Government in Wales, but that the problem is universal credit, and that that is what must change. Will Richard Leonard agree with that?