News in Scotland - Wednesday

food-crisis.jpg
A hunger epidemic is spreading rapidly across Scotland as charities
mobilise volunteers to feed poor and desperate families

 

Scottish News: News in Scotland - Thursday

SCOTLAND

Many Scots going hungry under London rule, warns SNP

New research shows that there has been a 600 percent increase in the number of Scots who depend on charitable foodbanks to feed their families. SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has expressed her alarm at the rapidly rising number of Scots who, according the Trussell Trust, who are now receiving emergency food aid including around 7,000 children. Dr Whiteford drew attention to the desperation so many Scots felt as they try to survive in the UK and argued that a 'yes' vote in next September's independence referendum was crucial to reversing the crisis. She said: "[...]the anti-independence No campaign tries to tell the people of Scotland that this is as good as it gets, more than ever it is clear that only a Yes vote next September can make Scotland a fairer country to live, work and raise a family." The Trussell Trust which now runs 25 foodbanks in Scotland reports that the situation is now so dire people are handing back food products because they cannot afford the cost of cooking them. Last week the Red Cross announced it was mobilising volunteers inside Britain for the first time since the Second World War in order to distribute food to starving families. Westminster benefit cuts, currency devaluation, zero-hour contracts, a switch to a low-paid jobs market and bank bailouts have all been cited as causes of Britain's deepening social crisis. The Public and Communications Services Union warned: "The UK coalition government welfare reforms have driven an extra million people into poverty. £30 billion has been slashed from welfare – the exact same figure given away to the super rich in tax breaks. As welfare benefits are cut and pay is frozen, more people are forced to rely on charitable food banks." The Union's Scottish spokewoman, Lynn Henderson said: “Whilst PCS abhors the necessity of foodbanks, our staff and our activists will from today regularly donate food for people for whom the welfare safety net has been ripped away."

Rangers chief quits in latest boardroom twist

The chief executive of Rangers, Craig Mather, has resigned from the post he took up only 6 months ago. On the club's website Mather is quoted as saying: “The interests of the Club are of paramount importance and I believe these are best served by me leaving the Club [...] Despite recent events and speculation, the facts of the matter are that the Club is financially secure and in a far better place than it was a year ago." The news comes after a legal decision forced the postponement of the club's AGM next week.

More Scottish news:

CURRENCY INDEPENDENCE v UNION LATEST

(International news on currency union to inform the Scottish referendum debate)

New Greek bailout being planned

According to Germany's Die Zeit newspaper the German government is designing a new bailout plan for Greece. The news comes only weeks after the re-election of Chancellor Angela Merkel after a campaign where all speculation of a further bailout of Greece was  emphatically denied. A senior European Central Bank official is reported to have said that Greece will be required to cut public spending even more in order to satisfy international creditors. Greek citizens are dealing with mass unemployment and worsening social conditions described by one psychotherapist as "national trauma" akin to civil war conditions. Greece is a member of the euro currency union.

UK crisis: Wage falls drive employment up

The so-called economic recovery story which banks, newspapers and politicians peddle could be down to a real terms drop in wages.  Official ONS figures shows that total UK pay rose by 0.7 percent while inflation was officially running at 2.7 percent meaning. Behind the figures a much more brutal reality emerges with food and energy inflation hugely outstripping official inflation figures with fruit up 10 percent and apples up 36 percent on last year. In Scotland those in jobs increased by 37,000 in the last quarter to a total rate of 72.8%. The SNP hailed the figures however, it is not clear if the new jobs are a result of economic improvement or temporary stimulus through money printing and an increase in low paid jobs such as zero-hours contracts.

Urgent plans to avert US default drafted by US senators

US Senators are racing to finalise a bill which if passed will raise the US debt ceiling and allow the US government to reverse the partial shutdown of federal government services. The current US debt limit is £16.7tn (£10.5tn) which many believe must be brought under control and not continue to be kicked down the road. The impasse between President Obama wants the limit to be lifted and Republicans in Congress appears to have passed according to media reports. There was a huge amount of pressure applied to the Republicans with warnings of global recession, dollar collapse, US default and a credit downgrade by ratings agencies.

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published this page in News 2013-10-16 16:46:55 +0100