Tom Arthur, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire South, has slammed the Conservative Party leadership candidates for their ‘silence’ on child poverty as a new report highlights the scale of the cost of living with Westminster.

A new report from Citizens Advice Scotland on Universal Credit underlines the struggles households across Scotland are facing – revealing that the need for food banks has grown by almost a third (31%) since September 2021.

The report calls for Westminster to immediately update Universal Credit and all legacy benefits, a suspension of sanctions, scrapping the benefit cap and the two-child limit, pausing the collection of all DWP and HMRC debts, and converting all Advance Payments at the beginning of UC claims into non-repayable assessment period grants.

Tom Arthur said: “It is utterly shameful to see such an increase in foodbank use in a place as wealthy as the UK. Yet, sadly, it’s not surprising that families in Renfrewshire South are struggling to get by as prices continue to rise but Westminster fails to take any meaningful action to help and every single Tory leadership candidate is silent on the matter of child poverty and the cost of living crisis.

“Research shows the actions of the SNP Scottish Government are making a real difference to those in Renfrewshire South struggling as it doing all it can with the powers at its disposal to support households through these tough times, but these efforts are constantly fighting against cruel Westminster policies.

“The Tories silence on poverty has been deafening and it’s clear that the last thing people in Renfrewshire South needs is a different Prime Minister – we need a different future with independence and the full welfare powers it gives Scotland to build a fairer, wealthier and happier country.”

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