Food insecurity must prompt SNP Ministers to think again about top-up of Child Benefit

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnstone MSP is calling on SNP Ministers to rethink their refusal to top-up Child Benefit and to fully mitigate the Benefit Cap after new research showed almost one-in-ten Scots are worried about running out of food due to lack of money.

For the first time the Scottish Health Survey has asked people about food insecurity.

Lack of money meant 8% of adults worried about running out of food, 7% ate less than they should, and 4% did run out of food.


Alison Johnstone, Health spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for Lothian, said:

“It’s appalling that in wealthy 21st century Scotland we have so many people either worrying about running out of food due to lack of money or actually going hungry because they’re strapped for cash. The impact of poor nutrition on people’s physical and mental health is well understood, and it’s particularly detrimental to children’s development.

“The austerity agenda started by the Tories and Lib Dems in 2010 has played a big role in worsening poverty and eroding social security, and Greens have pushed hard to use devolved powers to mitigate its impact. We’ve persuaded Scottish Ministers to roll-out a programme that boosts family incomes by offering referrals to money advice services, we’ve led the shift to a fairer system of Income Tax under which most Scots keep more of what they earn, and I successfully amended in the Child Poverty Bill so the government has to report regularly on whether it will use benefit top-up powers.

"I hope in light of the new findings on food insecurity SNP Ministers think again about a £5-a-week top-up of Child Benefit and finish the job on mitigating the Benefit Cap, to ensure families no longer go hungry.”