…it’s creating dependency:
Imagine a world where a parent will go without food so their children can eat.
It may sound like something from a Victorian novel, but this is the reality in 2013 – and the reality in North East Lincolnshire.
Yes, this is yet another in the rapidly-becoming-tedious series of woe and disaster articles in local newspapers over changes to the benefits system.
Record numbers of people are relying on emergency food parcels to survive in our area.
Over the past year, the Grimsby charity Care, which runs the Daily Bread Food Larder, handed out an unprecedented 1,080 food parcels.
That is more than double compared to last year – a 131 per cent increase – and they fear it’s going to get worse.
Now, Care has expressed its fears over the impending universal credit, which will be rolled out across the borough this October.
Combined with the impact of the “bedroom tax”, the team at Care are bracing themselves for figures to rise further.
How long, I wonder, before they stop putting that in inverted commas?
The general manager for the charity Sarah Taylor said: “I am really alarmed by the increase in the number of people needing us.”
“When the universal credit starts, people are going to need more support budgeting their finances. They won’t be used to it.”
Well, perhaps it’s about time they learned? Rather than rely of charities like you to fill in the gaps?
“It also opens up an opportunity for financial abuse. For example, if the payment goes to an alcoholic father and he blows it all on drink, where does that leave the mother and her children?”
Perhaps where it should leave her, with the idea that she ought to have chosen a lifemate/sire to her offspring a little better?
Conservative MP for Cleethorpes Martin Vickers praised the work of the food bank.
Mr Vickers said: “It is a sad fact in times of austerity the demands on such services like food banks will increase – they always have.
“There is no ignoring the fact there will be losers as well as winners in any reassesment of benefits, but the whole aim of them is to make people more self-sufficient and to target those funds available to those in need.”
Pray tell me, Martin, how having a charity on hand to provide you with food when you ‘can’t afford it’ and excuse your own poor life choices as just random acts of cruel fate is going to help with that?