The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don’t want you to know

If a prison decided to implement a policy of punishing its inmates by cutting their food supply, it would be universally condemned as a human rights abuse

The increase in food poverty in the UK, illustrated by the latest food bank figures, is a human rights abuse that you wouldn’t inflict on criminals.

According to the Trussell Trust, its food banks have been used more than a million times in the 2014-15 financial year, a 19 per cent increase on the previous 12 months.

And, lest we are in any doubt that this is directly linked to the coalition government’s policies targeting those on benefits, we just need to look at the increase in food banks themselves which have risen from 56 in 2010 to 445 in 2015 – an increase of almost 700 per cent . And this is only the tip of the iceberg. The total number of organisations providing emergency food assistance is estimated to be over 1,500 according to a 2014 parliamentary inquiry into hunger in the UK.

The people behind the increasing numbers of food bank users

These figures expose a double-edged Tory lie connected with their benefits and back-to-work policies. One side of this is the supposed record numbers back in employment. But the fact that the second largest cause of food bank referrals (22 per cent) is from people on low income, shows this employment “miracle” is due, at least in some part, to driving people into underpaid and insecure jobs.

The other side of this grubby coin is the ruthless cutting of the benefits system which demonises the poorest in our society and denies them money to the extent that they go hungry. The majority of referrals to food banks (44 per cent) are caused by delays or changes to benefit payments including sanctions, which are often unfair. In a separate survey Trussell Trust found that 86 per cent of their food banks reported an increase in referrals due to benefit sanctions. Of these, 76 per cent said some or many of these sanctions were seemingly unfair.

Read the rest of this Independent article here:


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