Tory MP continues to defend welfare reforms…as he opens a new foodbank

Trussell Trust says benefit delays and changes are driving the need for new food banks


The Conservative’s only MP in Scotland will open a foodbank in his constituency on Friday, amid growing controversy over his stance on food poverty.

The secretary of state for Scotland, David Mundell, will open the Trussell Trust Foodbank at Dumfries’ Apex Centre tomorrow despite arguing that growing food bank usage was not linked to welfare reforms.

In February, Mr Mundell used an appearance before Holyrood’s welfare reform committee to argue:

“The three issues that are most commonly raised in relation to foodbanks are sanctions, delays in benefit payments and low income. I do not accept that those three issues are welfare reform issues.”

The Trussell Trust press release announcing Mr Mundell’s visit to open the new foodbank however, has contradicted his remarks, arguing that welfare reform is causing hardship for families. Ewan Gurr, Scotland Network Manager for the Trussell Trust, has argued:

“Like many small rural towns, Dumfries has seen the impact of the rising cost of food and fuel, insecure nature of employment and welfare reform, which has created financial hardship for many individuals and families throughout the entire local authority of Dumfries & Galloway.

“The Trussell Trust is pleased to work with Apex Scotland given their shared commitment to partner with organisations working with people in crisis and complement the other food providers available in Dumfriesshire.”

Crucially, he continued:

“The new Dumfriesshire foodbank will provide nutritionally-balanced emergency food to people referred by local statutory and voluntary organisations, who will help tackle the underlying causes of poverty related primarily to benefit delays, benefit changes and low income.”

Ed Jacobs is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter

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11 Responses to “Tory MP continues to defend welfare reforms…as he opens a new foodbank”

  1. stevep

    The fact that we have foodbanks at all is a stain on our country.
    Have we fallen so far that ordinary working people have to beg for food?
    Many of us donate to these worthy projects to help the disadvantaged, but wouldn`t it be better if those with deeper pockets paid a few pence more tax in the pound to help ensure Britain never falls this far again?
    Labour must include a radical progressive tax policy in it`s manifesto and explain why it is needed.

    As Clement Atlee once remarked: ” Charity is a cold grey loveless thing, if a rich man wants to help the poor, he should pay his taxes gladly, not dole money out at a whim”.

  2. Franklin_Percival

    Why on earth was it considered proper for him to open a new foodbank when he will only try to spin it as a product of Westminster government generosity? I hope he gets pelted with rotten eggs and tomatoes, with the occasional coconut aimed at his swede for the sake of balance.

  3. jan hamilton

    In this day and age it is a crying shame that we even have the need for food banks.. more shame on this verminous, cruel, heartless government for knowingly creating that need


    If they are feeding people then how can that be defined as cruel and heartless. I think the word verminous which was used by the Nazis and anti Israeli fascists is hardly appropriate in this day and age.

  5. jan hamilton

    I am not blaming the food banks, i am blaming the cruel heartless loathesome repulsive government whose policies are creating the ever increasing need for them. If they did not constantly attack and deprive of much needed funds the chronically sick, disabled, unemployed, low paid or vulnerable there would barely be the need for food banks


    Do you think that welfare should be a bottomless pit! Are hard working taxpayers entitled to know what is happening to their tax. And you forget that the Tories are protecting pensioners.

  7. Ednamcraver

    Go to Our Community l e f o t o a d Online money

  8. Keith M

    They are a pretty heartless lot.

  9. Jerome Orff

    I think that we need a new term for this level of spin – there is so much topspin on this ball that it has left the planet completely. Bonkers! It is on par with “we are the party of labour” and the adopting of Nye Bevan for sounbites! He and his cronies with their million pound donation machine to fund their armies of trolls and media flunkies will label such dissenting views as the babble of idiots and “left wing nutters” – but let’s just use some COMMON SENSE here… people go to foodbanks because they have fallen off the bottom already – CLEARLY (yes, the “clearly” word much adopted by spinners) this is a failure of the Benefits system to catch the genuinely needy.

  10. Jerome Orff

    Wow – spoken like a true Troll. Give that man a promotion. Benefits are for those who NEED them … that’s what you are paying your TAX for – support for you and your family if you ever need it – have you ever been forced to use a foodbank??? No – i thought not.

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