A local politician has warned that demand on Renfrewshire Food Bank may increase by at least 30%.

Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South told Renfrewshire News this is due to the full rollout of Universal Credit that will be implemented in Renfrewshire in September and more local people in Renfrewshire may need to access the service.

Across the UK, The Trussell Trust, the charity who co-ordinates the UKs network of foodbanks have seen similar rises in users in other areas across the UK that have seen Universal Credit being rolled out in expects the same increase in demand to happen in Renfrewshire.

Mhairi visited Renfrewshire Foodbank on Lady Lane in Paisley and met with volunteers. Mhairi, said: “I had the chance to go and visit the volunteers at the Renfrewshire Foodbank last week. The rollout of Universal Credit across Renfrewshire is approaching and the food bank are predicting that we will see a massive 30% increase in residents needing help.

“The delays and errors that have been seen in other areas across Scotland will be inevitable in Renfrewshire unless the UK Government goes back to the drawing board regarding this particular benefit. Various reports, audits and experts have called for a halt in Universal Credit until it is properly fixed and this has been entirely ignored by this Tory government.

“The reality is that people are being left destitute and vulnerable due to this benefit and that is why we are seeing an increase in food bank usage across areas where Universal Credit has been rolled out. Renfrewshire will be no different so it is vital, now more than ever, that we support the food bank.

“The Renfrewshire Foodbank is already busy all year round due to mismanaged disability assessments, unfair sanctions, benefit delays, DWP administrative errors and many other issues that constituents visit my office looking for assistance with every single day.

“The Conservatives are not living in the real world and cannot relate with the fact that food poverty is increasing across Scotland due to idealistically driven Tory austerity.

“This will be a really busy time for the food bank and if you need support from the foodbank or you would like to help or volunteer, you can call them on 0300 102 2500 or email info@renfrewshire.foodbank.org.uk.“