BBC News – UK government ‘in denial’ over food bank use, says Holyrood committee

Boxes at a food bankThe DWP has argued that there isn’t any proof to hyperlink welfare modifications with food bank use

The UK government’s Department for Work and Pensions is “in denial” concerning the causes of a rise in food bank use, in response to a Holyrood committee.

In a brand new report, MSPs argued welfare modifications have been a “vital trigger” of the rise in demand.

The committee claimed proof pointed to a four hundred% rise in individuals utilizing food banks in 2013/14 in comparison with 2012/thirteen.

Last month, a UK minister stated there was “no strong proof linking food bank utilization to welfare reform”.

The Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee took proof from food bank suppliers together with the Trussell Trust and assist charities together with Oxfam Scotland and the British Red Cross.

The committee additionally heard proof from Heriot Watt University, who had been commissioned to conduct analysis on food bank use for the Scottish government.

Benefit sanctions

The committee stated it was notably involved about profit sanctions and referred to as on the UK government to “recognise that individuals are struggling to satisfy their primary want for food as a result of its direct motion”.

Labour MSP Michael McMahon, the convener of the committee, stated: “The UK government can not ignore the proof that their welfare reforms are having an actual impression on individuals’s capability to feed themselves.

“There might be no place for this in a contemporary, affluent nation, simply as there ought to be no want for food banks.

“Our proof confirmed some low paid staff have to entry food banks.

“This makes it much more insulting for them to insist that folks utilizing food banks are something aside from in determined want of assist.”

MSPs additionally argued food bank provision shouldn’t be allowed to turn out to be an alternative to welfare state provision.

Deputy convener and SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn, stated: “All our committee members visited food banks throughout Scotland.

“We have been impressed by the skilled and respectful approach that the volunteers handled individuals who got here to them, typically of their hour of biggest want.”

He added: “The UK government wants to make sure it doesn’t begin to weld them into the welfare system.

“It must come clean with the position it’s enjoying in inflicting the rise in demand and cease pretending that is merely all about individuals in search of one thing for nothing.”

Welfare reforms

Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone dissented from some elements of the report, the committee stated.

The UK government has claimed there was no proof of a hyperlink between its welfare reforms and using food banks.

In May, employment minister Esther McVey wrote to the Scottish government, saying food bank use was growing throughout a variety of totally different nations.

She wrote: “The rise in food banks predates a lot of the welfare reforms this government has put in place.”

Ms McVey has turned down a request for a public assembly with the welfare committee, however stated she would meet them informally.

M eleven:06 pm – Source: bbc.co.uk
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