Gordon Brown has pledged that every Scottish food bank will get a £5,000 payment on the first day of a Labour government.
The former prime minister said “one of the most damning statistics” was that more people in Scotland were relying on food banks than London, despite the capital having twice the population.
He told an audience in Kirkaldy last night that the day after the election, Scottish Labour under Jim Murphy will begin to address the food bank “emergency” north of the border.
“We can’t wait beyond May 8 so within 24 hours a Labour government will trigger an emergency plan to tackle hunger in Scotland and immediately pay £1million to ensure food banks across Scotland are better stocked,” he said.
Other “immediate” actions will be to provide loans so people will not use pay day lenders; help people in rural and remote areas with bus fares so they can get to food banks; and help with fuel bills and to buy cookers so families can have hot food.
“We now have food bank poverty which comes on top of pay day lender poverty, bedroom tax poverty, zero hours contract poverty, welfare cuts poverty and its time for new radical measures,” Mr Brown said.
“I cannot understand why eight years into their Scottish Government the SNP has done so little when they have the power to do so and I cannot understand why the Conservative government has been allowed to get away with doing even less.”
Mr Brown, the son of a Church of Scotland minister, called on churches and charities to be involved in developing Jim Murphy’s anti-poverty fund.
He accused the SNP of refusing to act just so they can blame Westminster for what goes wrong.
“That’s the difference, which explains why we need a Labour government to attack social injustice,” he said.
“They wake up in the morning thinking of how to make Scotland independent, we wake up in the morning thinking of how to advance social justice.”