Many Winchester residents were astonished by the poor judgement of inviting Winchester’s Conservative MP to open a new branch of Winchester Basics Bank at St Luke’s Church, Stanmore.
Why is this so shocking? Because Conservative cuts to welfare – running into £billions - have enormously increased the need for food banks, with an estimated 4 million people in poverty, and about I in 3 British people having experienced poverty within the last few years.
(Photo credit: Gill Connell)
The Trussell Trust, which runs only about half of all our food banks, gave out about 41,000 emergency parcels in the financial year 2009/10. In 2016/17, the figure was 1,182,954. This is a 2,785% increase under the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition and the Tory Government.
An All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into hunger in the UK found that hunger is affecting people in all areas of the UK, while research estimates 120,000 deaths directly caused by benefit sanctions and cuts. This is shameful in the fifth richest country in the world.
A delegation of Labour members and supporters took donations to the opening of the new food bank to protest against the hypocrisy displayed by Mr Brine in using the food bank as a photo-opportunity when he’s consistently voted to cut the welfare safety nets which used to keep people from hunger when they were disabled or lost their job through redundancy or illness.
Winchester Labour supports the food banks – BUT they are only needed because of cruel Tory cuts and poverty pay employers.