Many supermarket customers dropped food donations into Tesco trolleys over the weekend for those UK people struggling with food poverty. The traditional habit of feeding the birds snippets seems to be replaced with more serious concerns.
The Trussell Trust’s national food collection across 3000 Tescos stores on the busiest weekend of the year meets an urgent need, as benefit changes continue to hurt vulnerable people. Rising living costs have pushed many over their financial limits.
Food banks are seeing a 7% increase in people coming with benefit-related issues
David McAuley, director of operations for the Trussell Trust, stopped at the Salisbury Tesco Metro. He said that since April their 400 food banks have seen a 7% increase in people coming with benefit-related issues.
With the need to remedy this as soon as possible, he said:
“The big thing at the minute is where is the Defra report on Food poverty?”
Mr McAuley was visiting stores across Hampshire and Dorset to see how the collections were going. Continue reading Savage times, but food banks act to put bread on the table
Sharing a room with her four year old disabled son, Brenda*, a single mother from Ladywood, is just one of the 37,000 households in Birmingham living in congested conditions, making the West Midlands responsible for almost half of families living in overcrowded accommodation across the country.
With an increasing demand for properties and an acute shortage of social housing, the idea of taxing council tenants who maintain a spare room seems reasonable, but a closer investigation into the matter by a team of Birmingham journalists reveals that this taxation may not only be affecting society’s most vulnerable but also adding to a worsening housing situation. Continue reading The Bedroom Tax investigated in Birmingham: no place to go
Ruth Barnett writes about the Department for Work and Pensions press release with a particularly nastily-spun statistic (bold in original):
“The vast majority (94%) of new claimants got the benefit without having any face-to-face assessment of their needs.”
“The rest of the release paints a more complex (or to be less diplomatic, potentially contradictory) picture.
“It seems 42% of claimants had a statement from their GP verifying their medical condition; a further 36% submitted other sources of evidence, a category that can include reports by social workers or occupational therapists.
“Surely a GP is a “healthcare professional”? And surely all these trained staff will have met the claimant in person? Does this not count as a form of assessment? Apparently not.
“The DWP’s figures show 16% submitted a claim form alone.”
Ruth got a response from the DWP, who do not feel their statements were misleading. Those statements include a quote from Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith that “At the moment hundreds of millions of pounds are paid out in disability benefits to people who have simply filled out a form.”
She points out:
“The DWP figures show the cost of new claimants who really did just fill in the form last year was […] £30m.”
Also debunked and unpicked on Left Foot Forward.