Anne McTaggart MSP has argued that the Scottish Government must find the resources to fund Scotland’s voluntary sector appropriately, at a time when charities of all sizes across the country are struggling to find secure funding.
Ms McTaggart was speaking on a debate on Scotland’s voluntary sector on Wednesday (May 1st 2013), where she urged both public and voluntary sectors to work together to provide assistance to those who need it most and in turn challenge the growing levels of poverty and disadvantage in Scotland.
The welfare reforms of the Westminster coalition means that more and more ordinary Scottish people will be relying on the ability of the charities to provide additional support for communities that until recently had been able to survive without assistance.
Ms McTaggart believes this hardship has been compounded by the hesitation of the Scottish Government to mitigate these reforms, and by the draconian cuts to local government that have been handed down to councils across Scotland.
Anne McTaggart MSP said:
“Food banks in this country are now feeding over 14 000 people every year. That’s 14 000 people who are no longer able to put food on the table for their families and who cannot afford to do anything other than put a roof over their heads. The number of those reliant on these food banks has risen by over 150% compared with the same time in 2012, and it shows no signs of falling.
“This is the devastating reality of living in the eighth richest nation on earth. If we cut benefits, cut public sector funding and cut local government, how do we expect the most vulnerable amongst us to survive? In this chamber we often talk about the tragic choice between heating and eating. The reality is that some of the families we’re talking about don’t even have such a luxury.”
You can watch Anne’s contribution to the debate here from 43.45