Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell says the UK government’s welfare reforms are “tearing apart vulnerable communities” in his constituency.
Mr Russell was commenting after The Buteman reported figures published by Bute Advice Centre, showing that two-thirds of the people who used the island’s food bank in its first three months of operation had a disability.
Centre manager Julie Semple told an EGM of the organisation earlier this month that of the 38 people who used the food bank between January 1 and March 31, 12 had mental health problems and 14 had other disabilities.
“These figures from Bute Advice Centre highlight the sickening result of the UK government’s welfare reforms,” Mr Russell said.
“This comes after a recent Scottish Parliament committee study which showed Bute has been hit harder than almost any other area in the Highlands and Islands as a result of the UK government’s welfare reforms.
“It’s absolutely disgraceful that disabled members of the Bute community are facing such challenging circumstances due to the iniquitous actions of the UK government.”
The study referred to by Mr Russell, carried out for the Scottish Parliament’s welfare reform committee and also reported by The Buteman, found that £580 a year for every adult of working age would be removed from the economy of Bute as a result of the welfare reforms being implemented by the Westminster government - a figure higher than every other local government ward in the Highlands and Islands apart from central Inverness.