2 Apr 2015
We will tackle poverty
It makes me sad and angry to see the increase in foodbanks across Scotland and to hear how so many people rely on the service to survive in these hard times. The need for foodbanks has caused a lot of soul searching and debate. The dedicated volunteers do a tremendous job and thanks to the generosity of the public they are able to help struggling families and individuals. And yet many volunteers and indeed donors have a nagging doubt that we shouldn’t need to depend on foodbanks to make sure people get a meal. Labour run Renfrewshire Council has already agreed a £3.2m plan to tackle poverty which will help struggling local families who have been hit by benefit cuts and unemployment. Ed Miliband has promised that if Labour wins the General Election, the hated Bedroom Tax will be scrapped. In Scotland that will free up £175 million over five years which Jim Murphy, Scottish Labour leader wants to use to establish a Scottish Poverty Fund. But Scottish Labour doesn’t want to stop there. We want to ban exploitive zero hours contracts, raise the Minimum Wage, and extend the Living Wage. We want to scrap Government targets for benefits sanctions which are humiliating and punishing many unemployed people. We want to stop the energy companies ripping us off with excessive bills and we want to tax the legal loan companies and put that money to credit unions. Voters who say the parties are all the same should take another look at Scottish Labour and see they are doing the right thing.