Benefit cuts sends number of food bank users soaring
New figures emerge a week after Lord Freud, the Welfare Reform Minister, questioned whether there was a link between the two events
Soaring numbers of people have sought emergency help from food banks since a series of benefit cuts came into effect three months ago, it was revealed last night.
The new figures emerged a week after Lord Freud, the Welfare Reform Minister, questioned whether there was a link between food bank use and reductions to benefits.
The Trussell Trust, which operates 325 banks, said it had supplied three days’ emergency food to 152,200 people between 1 April and 30 June, more than three times as many as during the same period in 2012.
Fifty-two per cent of recipients were referred by frontline professionals, such as health visitors and schools liaison officers, because of problems with their benefit payments. They include 19 per cent who were sent to food banks because of changes to benefit entitlements.
Cuts to welfare payments which came into force in April included below-inflation rises in benefits, new Jobseekers’ Allowance sanctions and the reassessment of invalidity benefits. The so-called “bedroom tax”, under which people considered to have a spare room lose up to 25 per cent of their housing benefit, also began in April.
The trust’s executive chairman, Chris Mould, said: “The reality is that there is a clear link between benefit delays or changes and people turning to food banks and that the situation has got worse in the last three months. Since April’s welfare reforms we’ve seen more people referred to food banks because of benefit delays or changes.”
He said: “We’ve had people in crisis calling us saying that their local authority told them to ring the food bank for help with their gas and electric.
“We’re also seeing more people turning to us who have been sanctioned for seemingly illogical reasons and we’re helping people who cannot afford the bedroom tax but are unable to move house.”
The Department for Work and Pensions said the rise was down to more food banks opening up.
Last week Lord Freud told peers that the increase in people receiving food hand-outs was not necessarily linked to benefits sanctions or delays.
He suggested more people were using the banks because more existed and provoked opposition jeers when he denied they were even part of the welfare system.
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
350 skinny dippers brave Northumberland seas for record attempt at mass naked swim
Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
Jennifer Lawrence leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by forum users
Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
£115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: KS2 teacher with SEN responsibi...
£60 - £75 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Administrative Assitant Hertford...
£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Reigate...
£120 - £165 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...