Thomas Bridge 02 June 2014

DWP ‘in denial’ over food banks, MSPs say

DWP ‘in denial’ over food banks, MSPs say image

The Government is ‘in denial’ about rising food bank use and ‘ignoring’ problems caused by welfare reform – Scottish MPs have said.

A report from the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee has concluded recent changes to welfare are a ‘significant cause’ of rising demand experienced by providers of food aid, pointing to a 400% increase in the number people receiving assistance in the past year.

Members of the committee urged the DWP ‘to own up to the role it is playing’ in causing increasing food bank demand and ‘stop pretending this is simply all about people looking for something for nothing’.

Michael McMahon, convenor of the committee, said Government attitudes towards food bank users were ‘insulting’.

‘The UK Government can no longer ignore the evidence that their welfare reforms are having a real impact on people’s ability to feed themselves. There can be no place for this in a modern, prosperous nation, just as there should be no need for food banks,’ McMahon said.

Deputy committee convener, Jamie Hepburn, said the DWP was ‘pushing people to the brink – and often beyond’.

Commenting on the committee’s findings, a DWP spokesman said the report ‘isn't based on solid evidence, but on the opinions of those interviewed’.

‘The truth is that employment is going up, benefits are being paid to claimants more quickly and independent experts tell us that there are fewer people struggling with their food bills compared with a few years ago. The Trussell Trust and other foodbanks agree that increased awareness has helped to explain their recent growth,’ the spokesman added.

‘We spend £94bn a year on working age benefits and the welfare system provides a safety net that supports millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed.’

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness image

Collaboration is the key to tackling homelessness

With the support of stakeholders, including forward-thinking local authorities, Beam’s innovative support model ‘swiftly removes every barrier faced by homeless people from entering the workforce’, says Seb Barker.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of HR/OD

Babergh & Mid Suffolk
£60,000 circa
The role will involve working closely with the Senior Leadership Team and Chief Executive to lead our People Strategy and... Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Babergh & Mid Suffolk

Youth and Community Based Commissioner - Mid Essex

Essex County Council
£18117 - £19106.0 per annum
Annual Salary JNC Scale Points 3-6 £18,117 - £19,106 (1-2 in training) We are currently seeking a Youth and Community Based Commissioner to support t England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Strategic Rent Accountant

Camden London Borough Council
£45,504 - £52,786
The successful candidate will be self-managing, troubleshoot to overcome obstacles and have proven experience of working effectively with a... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Principal Policy and Projects Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£45,504 - £52,786
Successful candidate will be an experienced strategic thinker with experience of delivering large-scale programmes and projects. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Mental Health Social Care Manager

Suffolk County Council
£47,167
You will play a key part in the Mental Health Service provision in Suffolk, supported by our Mental Health Strategy... Ipswich, Suffolk
Recuriter: Suffolk County Council

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine