A new report revealing that more than 500,000 people in the UK rely on food banks is ‘a searing indictment of the government’s failed economic and social polices’, says Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey.
Len McCluskey said: “The original concept of food banks was that they should be a last resort safety net – but it now appears that they are becoming a way of life for hundreds of thousands of people through no fault of their own.
“The Tories may pretend that food banks are an affirmation of the so-called ‘Big Society’, but the fact that an increasing number of people are using them just to survive is a searing indictment of this government, whose polices are pushing thousands of families into grinding poverty.
“The Trussell Trust, the UK’s biggest provider of food banks, does sterling work, but it can’t be expected to pick up the tab for the failed economic policies of George Osborne and the divisive welfare ‘reforms’ of Iain Duncan Smith.
“The growing queues at the food banks are stark evidence that ministers need to reverse their failed polices and get a flatlining economy moving again – creating jobs and putting money into the pockets of ordinary people, and not into the coffers of the rich and powerful.”
The study by Church Action Poverty and Oxfam says that more than half a million UK people may rely on food banks. The report blames benefit cuts, unemployment and the increased cost of living for the growth in hunger and poverty.
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.