Help poor now
Unfortunately, I was not surprised by the findings of Citizens Advice Scotland’s Bringing Food to the Table report, which revealed more than a fifth of people in Scotland, including many in employment, have gone a day without eating because they cannot afford food (your report, 7 December).
It is appalling that in 21st century Scotland, 35 per cent of working respondents said they were struggling to afford balanced means. Sadly, these are the stories I hear from individuals and families that we work with every day. In the last 12 months, applications to Aberlour Children’s Charity’s Urgent Assistance Fund, which provides cash grants for people in urgent need of financial assistance across the country, rose by over 80 per cent. As such, we have given out double the amount of money to people in crisis to help them buy everyday essential items such as food and basic clothing.
That is why, ahead of the Scottish Budget on 12 December, I have urged the Cabinet Secretary to consider introducing the new Family Income Supplement now, as committed to by the Scottish Government in Every Child Every Chance, and not in three or four years’ time. I believe this would alleviate the worst effects of financial hardship for many struggling families across Scotland.
Poverty is a political decision and as inequalities in income continue to deepen, Scotland needs a budget that provides
more money for low income households. No one should be forced to reduce or skip meals because they cannot afford basic food items.
Chief Executive Aberlour Children’s Charity
Park Terrace, Stirling