New research by the Trussell Trust has revealed that food bank use has soared by 30% over the last year in areas that are already enduring the roll-out of Universal Credit.

The charity also found that foodbank use across Scotland has shot up by a fifth, with 76,764 three-day emergency food supplies given out to people in need in the first half of 2017.

A recent report by the Child Poverty Action Group also estimated that cuts to Universal Credit will push one million more children into poverty by 2020 – and research from the renowned Resolution Foundation has set out the damaging impact that the Tories’ flagship welfare policy is set to have on young people.

Commenting, SNP MSP Ruth Maguire, who sits on Holyrood’s Social Security Committee, said:

“These new figures on foodbank use from the Trussel Trust provide further proof of the damage being done to families across the country by the Tories’ deeply flawed Universal Credit policy.

There is overwhelming evidence from academics, charities and foodbank providers that Tory welfare cuts are the driving force behind the record rise in people needing emergency food provision.

It is downright insulting that Theresa May and her government continue to dismiss the reasons for rising food bank use as “complex”. It isn’t. If people don’t have enough money to buy food, they need to rely on foodbanks and other emergency and crisis aid such as the Scottish Government’s Scottish Welfare Fund.

We have also seen warnings from the Child Poverty Action Group that one million more children are set to be pushed into poverty – and the Resolution Foundation has made clear that universal credit cuts are damaging the prospect’s of our young people.

The Tories must wake up to reality here – this is people’s livelihoods that they are putting on the line.

Philip Hammond must use the budget to halt the roll-out and reverse the cuts to Universal Credit before even more people are driven into poverty by this callous Tory party.”