Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens, will today (1 May) highlight his party's manifesto commitment to scrap the "punishing" benefit sanctions regime.

The pledge features in a new briefing from the Scottish Greens on the minimum wage and social security.

This morning Mr Harvie will visit Maryhill food bank in Glasgow. 83 per cent of food banks report ‘sanctioning’ is causing rising numbers to turn to them.

Figures from the Trussell Trust show that the use of food banks in Scotland has risen by two-thirds over the last year with emergency supplies issued 117,689 times, including 18,000 in Glasgow and 14,000 in Edinburgh.

Patrick said:

"The dismantling of the welfare state, and in particular the inhumane sanctions regime many people are subjected to, is undoubtedly contributing to the rise in use of food banks. It's unacceptable, and while the volunteers who help distribute food are doing important work, it shows that the safety net that previous generations fought so hard to create for us all has been cruelly removed.

"I want to see human welfare put back into the welfare state, and I want to see big employers paying decent wages rather than poverty pay topped up with benefits."

Glasgow councillor Dr Martin Bartos, Scottish Green MP candidate for Glasgow North, said:

"The link between our social environment and good health is clear. We need Scottish and Westminster parliaments and local authorities to work together to lift incomes and pursue policies that have good health outcomes.

“With better wages and a caring welfare system we can tackle health inequalities in cities such as Glasgow."


Scottish Greens briefing on Minimum Wage and Social Security