Cut will spark food bank run

Foyle MP Mark Durkan meeting Strabane Community Project Manager Danny O'Hagan and Food Bank Manager Ursula Gallagher.
Foyle MP Mark Durkan meeting Strabane Community Project Manager Danny O'Hagan and Food Bank Manager Ursula Gallagher.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan has said the Government’s plans to cut spending on tax credits will drive hundreds of families in Londonderry and Strabane to food banks.

Mr Durkan, who voted against the cuts at Westminster – and recently met Strabane Community Project Manager Danny O’Hagan and Food Bank Manager Ursula Gallagher to discuss their impact on families in the North West – said: “The devastating impact of cuts to tax credits will mean that thousands of households in Derry and Strabane are going to lose significant amounts of money.

“As this week’s analysis from DSD highlights, 120,000 households across the North will have their tax credit payments reduced – and will face an average loss of £918 a year.

“The deepest cuts to tax credits and benefits will hit those people who have jobs. Indeed, it is not only those who are unemployed who are using food banks but the ‘working poor’ and households who have low and marginal incomes.

“During my recent meeting with Danny O’Hagan and Ursula Gallagher we discussed the devastating impact of these cuts and the increasing demands they will lead to on local food banks.

“We were in agreement that there also needs to be more active policies from our regional government on this – not least on how local food banks can be supported in the future.”