Sat 27 Oct Marcia Rigg and Kadisha Brown-Burrell in front of the march down Whitehall more pictures The United Families and Friends Campaign UFFCa coalition of of people killed by police, in prisons, in immigration detention and in secure psychiatric hospitals meet in Trafalgar Square and make their 20th annual march of remembrance at a funereal pace to Downing St. Many have banners or t-shirts with the names of their loved ones who died either through negligence or deliberate violence. Although thousands have died under suspicious circumstances sinceofficial figures have failed to record many of the deaths as having taken place in custody and those responsible have lied or withheld evidence, investigations have often been superficial and inquests have been used to hush up evidence and not one of those responsible have been convicted of murder or manslaughter.
The Committee, however, has received first hand evidence from those managing and working in food banks that welfare reform is a significant cause of the increase they have experienced in demand for their services.
The Committee is convinced by the volume and strength of the evidence it has received that there is a direct correlation between welfare reform and the increase in use of food banks.
The link must be acknowledged by the UK Government. It can no longer ignore the evidence.
The UK Government has to recognise that people are struggling to meet their basic needs for food due to its direct actions. Food banks should be recognised as a community, charitable response for individuals in crisis.
Food banks should not be welded into the infrastructure of the welfare state. They are a sign of a Dickensian model of welfare which should have no place in a prosperous nation.
Ultimately the necessity for food banks should be eliminated. The Committee, however, has seen from visits to food aid providers in their local areas the current requirement for this vital support for individuals often in desperate need of basic food provision.
The Committee praises the dedication and commitment shown by food bank volunteers. The Committee therefore supports the action taken by the Scottish Government to provide an Emergency Food Aid Action Plan and hopes that this will ensure any logistical issues around food bank provision are addressed.
There has been increasing awareness of food bank provision in Scotland. The largest network of food banks in Scotland, co-ordinated by the Trussell Trust, has seen a fast growth in food banks and users in recent years.
In the financial year 5, people Oxfam and tesco assistance from Trussell Trust food banks, this rose to 14, in The Trussell Trust is calling for an inquiry by the UK Government into the causes of UK food poverty and the increase in food bank usage.
Against the backdrop of increasing demand on food banks and calls from some organisations for the UK Government to recognise a link between food bank usage and welfare reforms, the Committee decided to conduct work on the issue.
The Committee also held an evidence session on the Scottish Welfare Fund on 18 March where the issue of food banks was raised.
The findings and recommendations of the Committee are detailed in the following report. The Department for Work and Pensions has made it clear that it sees no robust evidence that the increase in use of food banks is linked to welfare reforms.
All that predates the reforms. People know they are free. They know about them and they will ask social workers to refer them.
It would be wrong to pretend that the mass of publicity has not also been a driver in their increased use.
He told the Committee that a Trussell Trust objective was to put a food bank in every town in the UK and pointed to this as an example of growth in food banks being supply led rather than demand led.
That is just how economies work. He said that a generous estimate of food bank usage per week in the UK was 60, people, compared withpeople per week in Canada which has half the population of the UK and 1.
That makes me think that supply is what is driving the growth. It might not be wilful deceit that is going on; it might well be their belief about the situation.
Then, the food banks will record that and it will be presented back as a fact. However, that does not establish a causal link.
The supply argument is a much stronger argument. Academics are not exploring the supply argument though; they are looking at what people are reporting in food banks and citing that as evidence.
That does not make it right; it is just what they are doing. The suggestion that benefit delays are responsible for an increase in food bank usage is unfounded.
We also have a well-established system of hardship provision for sanctioned claimants who have little or no other resources available to them, to ensure they are supported throughout the duration of a sanction. Furthermore, the UK is only 1 of 11 EU countries not to see an increase.
The Committee explored with other witnesses whether they supported the views held by the UK Government on the scale of the problem, causes of the increase in food banks and whether there was robust evidence to support its position. The strong evidence received by the Committee placed welfare reform as a key factor for the increase in use of food banks.
Link between food banks and welfare reform The Committee received compelling evidence that by far the biggest increase in food bank usage took place at exactly the time most of the key welfare reforms came into force from April Ewan Gurr of the Trussell Trust provided statistical information on the increase in the number of people using food banks.
He told the Committee that the number of people using Trussell Trust food banks in Scotland had risen from 5, in to 14, people in Find out here In an update today, Tesco confirmed that trading had been in “line with expectations” and that it expects to make £bn operating profit before exceptional items of at least.
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