Benefits System Leaves People in “Destitution, Hardship and Hunger.”
Massive cuts to social safety nets have led to “destitution, hardship and hunger on a large scale” in Britain, with more than half a million people now forced to rely on food banks for sustenance, key poverty charities have warned in a report.
The Guardian continues,
Welfare changes and mistakes by Jobcentre Plus staff are causing delays in benefits and errors or sanctions, which push vulnerable people into precarious situations, the report from Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam warns. The charities want an urgent parliamentary inquiry.
“The shocking reality is that hundreds of thousands of people in the UK are turning to food aid,” said Mark Goldring, Oxfam’s chief executive. “Cuts to social safety nets have gone too far, leading to destitution, hardship and hunger on a large scale. It is unacceptable that this is happening in the seventh wealthiest nation on the planet.”
“The report, Walking the Breadline, is backed by the Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest provider of food banks. It blames the increasing pressure on food banks on far-reaching changes to the benefits system, as well as on unemployment, increased underemployment, low and falling incomes and rising food and fuel prices.
Changes to the benefit system are the most common reasons for people using food banks, including delays in payments, sanctions, sickness benefit reassessments and changes to crisis loan eligibility rules, according to the report.
You can read the report here.
Walking the breadline call for an inquiry into links between benefit sanctions and food poverty
“We urge the House of Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee to conduct an urgent inquiry into the relationship between benefit delay, error or sanctions, welfare reform changes, and the growth of food poverty.
Petition calling for an enquiry Here.
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