We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Child Poverty in Scotland — [Sir David Crausby in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:54 pm on 30th October 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health) 2:54 pm, 30th October 2019

I thank the hon. Lady; she is always good in this House when it comes to bringing forward issues that are pertinent to the debate. She again excels today in bringing forward this issue of food banks and the needs they address. The people who use them are under pressure emotionally and mentally, which transfers to physical issues. When that happens, the problems that the hon. Lady refers to become real for them.

I recognise, as I know the hon. Lady does, that those who have set up the food banks are genuine, interested people who bring the best of people together. They reach out to those who need help, as their faith tells them to do, which is a great motivation. I almost feel encouraged by the food banks and those who are motivated to make them happen, but calls go out to ensure that people bring in more stock, because demand is sometimes high.

We appreciate what the food banks, the volunteers and the churches do when they work together. When it comes to child poverty, whether it be in Scotland or Northern Ireland, we all want the same. We want children to have a good quality of life and we want their families to be able to look after them in the way it was designed in life that they should. For that to happen I believe, with great respect, that the Government must look genuinely at what they do.

The issue of debt management is important to child poverty; it is crucial. Nothing disturbs me as much as seeing children in difficulty; there are two or three such children who come to my office. The hon. Member for Motherwell and Wishaw mentioned Christmas. As Christmas comes, the child who lives three doors down will probably get almost anything he or she wants, but the child living in poverty will not get anything. There is a terrible injustice in society when we come to Christmas, a time of giving and good will, that those who are in poverty will not be able to have the same as everyone else.