The researcher that co-authored a recent Government commissioned report into the rise in demand for foodbanks has published a new report that claims welfare reform is indeed one of the main reasons behind the rise.
The previous report concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to prove the causal link, however, this week’s Guardian reports the research finding that “the rise in demand for charity food is a clear signal “of the inadequacy of both social security provision and the processes by which it is delivered”.
Campaigners have consistently blamed benefit delays, sanctions and measures such as the bedroom tax for the rise in food hunger in the UK, but the Government has been swift to deny that their programme of welfare cuts is responsible. Lord Freud, welfare minister, had previously claimed that the rise in the use of food banks was because they were free.
While the researcher admits that the rise in food bank use is a political issue, and that there are other factors which have contributed to food hunger in the UK, she insists that ministers should not be allowed to “duck or underplay the importance of welfare reform”.
The DWP dismissed the report saying it was based on 25 interviews and that it “gave a one-sided view”. These interviews were conducted with strategic staff and coordinators of emergency food aid outlets in England.