Britain's hunger crisis: One MILLION food parcels handed out despite UK having sixth richest economy(12 Posts)
Campaigners last night demanded David Cameron scrap his savage welfare reforms after the number of emergency food parcels handed out soared to more than a million.
Furious anti-poverty groups and church leaders said it was beyond belief that people in 21st century Britain are going hungry and relying on charity.
The number of food parcels given out last year by the Trussell Trust alone nearly tripled from 346,992 to 913,138. And 330,205 of those went to children.
Another 182,000 are being donated each year by just 45 independent food banks, according to a recent survey.
Campaigners say the shocking statistics shatter the PM’s twisted boast that his welfare reforms are a “moral mission” giving hope to the poor.
Benefits cuts and delays, the rising cost of living and pay freezes are forcing more and more people into food banks, experts have long warned. One, on Merseyside, is handing out rations at the alarming rate of one every nine minutes.
Food Banks: The 10 Most Common Myths And How To Challenge Them
's an embarrassing fact for the coalition government, that soaring numbers of people turning to emergency food banks.
More than 350,000 people received three days’ emergency food from Trussell Trust foodbanks between April and September 2013, triple the numbers helped in the same period last year.
But can the figures be explained away, more awareness, more foodbanks opening, and people just after a free lunch...?
HuffPost UK asked the Trussell Trust, the UK's largest network of foodbanks, to rebutt the common attacks against food banks.
But mumsnetters will tell you that these people feel 'entitled' and don't work hard enough. That really is what people seem to think on here.
agree only someone who had never had to learn the difference between want and need would believe that.
I think this is an important transition period for the welfare state, and I'm glad there are charities able to tide people over for a few days with some basic provisions if there has been an interruption in payments. Morally however, I don't particularly distinguish between a family getting regular money in the form of benefits from the state, from a charity in the form of food or from a housing authority in the form of emergency accommodation. It's just different types of help that we may all need from time to time. I therefore find outraged reactions to be misplaced.
And the photograph the Mirror has used on the front page of sad child is actually an American child crying because her earthworm died ( on BBC news at the moment)
> I think this is an important transition period for the welfare state, and I'm glad there are charities able to tide people over for a few days with some basic provisions if there has been an interruption in payments.
First of all, there shouldn't be an interruption of payments. These delays are a combination of incompetence and deliberate policy by the DWP to stop people claiming.
> Morally however, I don't particularly distinguish between a family getting regular money in the form of benefits from the state, from a charity in the form of food or from a housing authority in the form of emergency accommodation.
Well, that's sad, because social security is:
a) funded for by the public, and therefore people are entitled to payments when they need it
b) A guarantee of a safety net which charity is not, and never will be able to provide. We've had charity in place of social security prior to the early 20th Century. It was not pretty. Social conditions and quality of life have improved immesurably for everyone since the welfare state was enacted.
> It's just different types of help that we may all need from time to time. I therefore find outraged reactions to be misplaced.
Unsurprising coming from you, perhaps.
I think most people find it outrageous that a million people need to use foodbanks in the 6th richest nation on earth, a nation with obscene wealth inequality, and where we spend £100 Billion nuclear wepons:
> And the photograph the Mirror has used on the front page of sad child is actually an American child crying because her earthworm died ( on BBC news at the moment)
Poor choice, but utterly irrelevant to the facts.
It may not be relevant to the facts but it's a PR cock-up to try manipulating public sentiment with library photos rather than genuine pictures.
ttosca…you mention that we are the 6th richest nation, but what does that mean, after a great recession?
How many other countries had increased their annual costs as much as the UK by reckless unprecedented annual increases in spending (rising over 50% to £618 billion from 2001 to 2008/9), so when the recession came and the tax proceeds of speculation dried up, we ended up spending £157 billion more than we earn each year?
And these are the figures you do not like, as it shows the true picture of our welfare ‘cuts’.
“Welfare spending in Britain has increased faster than almost any other country in Europe since 2000, new figures show.”
“The cost of unemployment benefits, housing support and pensions as share of the economy has increased by more than a quarter over the past thirteen years – growing at a faster rate than in most of the developed world.”
“In the developed world, only the United States and the stricken eurozone states of Ireland, Portugal and Spain - which are blighted by high unemployment - have increased spending quicker than Britain.”
“It means Britain has risen in the developed world rankings for welfare spending from 20th in 2000 to 13th in 2013 – leapfrogging Norway, Luxembourg, Hungary, Poland, Greece and New Zealand.
“Despite Mr Osborne’s promise to get welfare under control, the benefits bill is due to increase rapidly in cash terms, from £180bn this year to £203bn in 2018-19.”
“Iain Duncan Smith, the work and pensions secretary, last year admitted he had given up trying to cut the welfare bill and was instead “managing growth at a lower level”.
“And in Britain since 2010, when the Coalition came to power, spending on welfare as share of GDP has barely moved – falling by just a quarter of one per cent over three years, according to OECD data.”
“By contrast, more than a third of developed nations have cut their welfare bills steeply in that period, Germany has cut social security spending as a share of GDP by 3.4 per cent, Canada by 3 per cent, Iceland by 4.2 per cent, Switzerland by 7 per cent and Estonia by 11 per cent.”
But back to the Food Bank issue, in theory as more jobs feed through to the economy as business confidence grows, the rising trend of Food Bank usage should fall, after all, if we already have the highest number in work for a generation, there are other social issues that need to be compensated for e.g. the 2.5 million new citizens that came here and that effect on the jobs and welfare equation.
“UK unemployment falls to five-year low of 2.2m”
“At just over 30 million, the number of people in work remained at its highest level in a generation.”
“The jobless figure for 16 to 24-year-olds fell by 38,000 in the three months to February to 881,000, the lowest for five years.”
“There were 1.42 million people working part-time because they cannot find full-time work, a fall of 17,000 over the quarter, but 10,000 higher than a year ago.”
“And the number of people classed as self-employed rose by 146,000 to 4.5 million, the highest since records began in 1992.”
As for “the Cameron savage reforms”, apparently Cameron isn’t cutting the benefit bills enough, as I’m The Mirror forgets to mention Labour’s policy on this issue – so IF increasing employment and increasing benefit/welfare bills in a UK economic recovery doesn’t reduce Food Bank use – on a cross party basis this country needs to know why.
“Labour to substantially cut benefits bill if it wins power in 2015”*
"Labour will cut the benefits bill "quite substantially" and more effectively than the Tories if it wins power in 2015, the shadow work and pensions secretary said on Tuesday."
“Liam Byrne, a Labour frontbencher, said the coalition's welfare reforms were failing to cut costs enough, and called for cross-party talks to "save" some of the government's key schemes.”
“However, he signalled Labour wants to get universal credit and other major schemes back on track, rather than scrap them altogether.”
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.