Soaring Food Poverty to Grow More with Benefit Cuts

  • MP warns that the already high levels of food poverty are likely to increase further after the changes to benefits take effect.

    Close to 500,000 people received food aid last year, but this is likely to be even higher next year as more vulnerable people are affected by this years benefit changes

     A Labour MP from the Midlands has said that the cuts to benefits have resulted in soaring food poverty, and will force the figures higher as the changes take effect.

    Trussell Trust figures show that 350,000 people used their food banks across Britain last year, and the figure for all those receiving food aid from all churches, charities and organisations is estimated around 500,000.

    This is triple the number of peopel from the previous year, and 100,000 more than anticipated.

    The West Midlands has been hit hard, with 41,000 people in food poverty last year.

    Labour MP from the area, Roger Godsiff, says these figures are likely to increase more as the benefit cuts impact more vulnerable people.

    He has demanded that the government launch an urgent enquiry in to the causes of food poverty, as research suggests the main cause is benefits:

    There is every indication that levels of food poverty show every sign of growing as further changes to the benefits system take effect.

    Such developments, I believe, are wholly detrimental to the social fabric of the UK, further marginalising the poor, the unemployed and already socially disadvantaged and are incompatible with the functioning of a modern, compassionate society.

    I have called on the government to launch an urgent enquiry into causes of food poverty, particularly in respect of the administrative failure of the Department of Work & Pensions (DWP) to deliver benefits effectively and its widespread use of punitive benefit sanctions.

    The impact of food poverty has been particularly dramatic in the West Midlands with the Trussell Trust seeing biggest ever increase in the region.

    The Trussell Trust's research suggests that 45% of all referrals are as a result of benefits problems which include benefit delays (30%) and benefits changes (15%).

     


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