A Moray politician has attacked the refusal by the Department of Work and Pensions to commission an analysis into the link between increased use of food banks and welfare cuts.
Scotland Office minister David Mundell called for research to be undertaken into links – but DWP ministers remain steadfast in their refusal to order a study.
And that, according to Moray’s MP Angus Robertson, indicates that the DWP is simply “too frightened” of the results that such a analysis might reveal.
The call came when UK employment minister Esther McVey’s admitted there are “no immediate plans to produce or commission further research”. This is despite food bank use increasing by 400% in the last year with 22,000 children in Scotland – many in Moray – forced to rely on food banks.
Last month the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee heard from Tory minister David Mundell that he accepted the link between the increase in food bank use and welfare cuts and called for more research on the link – but he has since been overruled by the DWP.
Mr Robertson said: “First Iain Duncan Smith would not come to Scotland to answer for his unfair welfare cuts – now it seems that his department is too frightened of the results to even commission an analysis of the impact of his disastrous welfare policies.
“Moray’s food bank is receiving significant support from the wider community from both volunteers and from those donating food items – but food bank volunteers have made it clear they would rather they didn’t have to volunteer because we should not need a food bank.