Following its vote on the Bedroom Tax, Labour will hold an opposition day debate on the increasing use of food banks.
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Maria Eagle, will ask Ministers why the situation is continuing to deteriorate, say Labour.
Food bank charity Trussell Trust gave out more than 900,000 food parcels to struggling households over the last year, with the figure expected to top 1,000,000 in the very near future – if not already.
Maria Eagle MP is expected to say:
“Since the last Opposition Day debate we had on this subject a year ago, things have got worse. There has been a 38 per cent increase in the number of people seeking food aid from the Trussell Trust’s 420 food banks over the last six months. 492,641 people have sought food aid in that time. 176,565 of them are children.
“It is shocking that 45-60 per cent of the ever-increasing need for food aid we see is primarily caused by the actions of the Department for Work and Pensions. Yet Ministers have done nothing since our debate last year to tackle the benefit delays and changes which are causing so much of the problem.
“DWP Ministers are indifferent. They do nothing. The employment minister said “there is no robust evidence linking food bank usage to welfare reform.” That is because she refuses to collect the evidence or research it.
“Either they’re indifferent and incompetent. Or they’re indifferent and venal because in reality Ministers don’t care about the problems their policies and actions are causing.
“The Chancellor has already said that he will be looking for further savings from the welfare budget. This will inevitably mean a further weakening of the social security safety net. This Tory plan to recreate 1930s Britain, along with its hunger, low pay and non-existent rights at work coincides with changes to the labour market making it tougher to make ends meet, even for someone who is in work.”
MPs voted that increased use of foodbanks is not directly caused by low wages or changes to the benefits system – 293 to 237.