The Trussell figures show that one in five food parcel receipients – 65,177 people – were referred to its foodbanks as a result of changes to their benefits in the first half of this year, compared with 14,897 (14%) during the same period last year. Delays in the payment of benefits resulted in 117,442 people (35%) being referred between April and the end of September, compared with 35,597 (33%) in the same period in 2012-13.
So, the largest contributor to the use of food banks is the fact that government is crap at doing what government sets out to do: get cash into the hands of the poor.
Sure, changes in benefits aren’t helping here: but twice the demand comes from the fact that government can’t in fact process a payment in under 8 weeks. They’re just fucking incompetent.
And this is, of course, taken as evidence that more should be done by that incompetent government and less should be done by that highly efficient private charitable effort.
If the aim is the alleviation of poverty shouldn’t we be celebrating and reinforcing those who do so and castigating those, taking resources away from those, who are proven to be total cocknobbins at the task?