Tory crocodile tears on tackling poverty not good enough, says AM

Speaking in the Senedd Chamber, Ann Jones, Labour’s AM for the Vale of Clwyd has strongly criticised Tory MP and Wales Office Minister Alun Cairns, for previously commenting that users of food banks were people who were unable to manage their finances or drug addicts.

Ms Jones’ criticism stemmed from a discussion initiated by Tory AM, Antoinette Sandbach on how the Welsh Government plans to tackle poverty in North Wales. Ms Jones remarked that Tory AMs should instead be urging their Westminster colleagues to stop their pernicious welfare cuts which have resulted in a huge increase in the number of families using food banks.

Following the exchange, Ms Jones said: “I do find it incredulous that Tory politicians in Cardiff can have the sheer brass neck to criticise the Welsh Labour Government while their party presides over a cost of living crisis which has pushed many families across North Wales to the brink of despair.

“Combined with their ruthless welfare cuts which have sought to victimise the most vulnerable in society, any positive work being done here in Wales to tackle poverty is being threatened by an extremely dangerous right-wing agenda.

“I am extremely concerned with the lack of awareness of Tory politicians about the very real extent their policies are having. Most of those seeking support from a food bank are in work and not unemployed ‘scroungers’ as they would have us think. Poverty in modern Britain is nothing short of a scandal and I will continue to stand up for those most in need”.

Last week, Ms Jones attended the North Wales Regional Conference of the Trussell Trust which runs a number of food banks in North Wales. Food banks managers and volunteers shared their experiences with her. Ms Jones spoke about child poverty being exasperated over the past four years despite all the positive moves made over the previous decade.