Over the past week or so SNP MSPs have been highlighting the rise in the use of foodbanks. One of the main reasons for this rise is the ongoing Tory austerity policies, especially the expansion of Universal Credit. However, in one incident when SNP MP Tom Arthur raised the issue, he was met by Tory List MSP Maurice Golden complaining that he was just ‘making political points’ about the increase!
Of course he was – is that not his job to highlight how the impact of Tory austerity policies are hurting those in need? Maurice Golden’s comments simply show how out of touch he and his colleagues are.
A recent report by a UN expert, Philip Aston, has said that UK ministers are living in a state of denial over the extreme poverty in the country. Mr Aston drafted a report for the United Nations on extreme poverty and human rights in the UK. He also stated that it would take very little money for the worst aspects of Tory austerity policies to be changed overnight.
Mr Golden is not only living in denial, he doesn’t want anyone to highlight the obscene cruelty of the Tory welfare policies, policies that have left many individuals and families suffering across Scotland.
As Mhairi Black MP stated, the use of foodbanks is a sign that the welfare state is failing.
Scotland is a rich country – only recently more oil was discovered, yet we’re tied to a UK which not only turns a blind eye to those in need but actually implements policies that hurt those in need.
And if anyone would think things would be different under Labour, let’s remember that they supported the vast majority of the Tory austerity cuts and their current leader in Scotland only this week refused to campaign to devolve Universal Credit to the Scottish Parliament – where we could have transformed it into a policy which actually supports rather than punish those in need.