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Benefit sanctions main reason for food bank resort

08 December 2014

An All-Party inquiry into hunger and food poverty in Britain has concluded that benefit sanctions are the main reason that people are resorting to food banks.

The MPs warn that Britain is stalked by hunger caused by a harsh benefits sanctions regime, low pay, growing inequality, and social breakdown.

Their church-funded report says voluntary groups have been courageously fighting “a social Dunkirk” without the assistance of the government, and calls for urgent action to ensure ministers do more to combat hunger, including joining a new coordinating body and asking supermarkets to do more with surplus unsold products.

Of benefit -related problems the report says:

“There is a clear moral case to address the shortcomings that exist in our welfare system. Our evidence shows that the current system is cumbersome, complicated and fails to respond effectively to the daily changes in people’s lives. A single error can itself end up being the recruiting sergeant for money lenders”.

A Joseph Rowntree Foundation report published last month highlighted that jobseekers’ allowance claimants are more likely to be sanctioned for not attending the Work Programme than to get a job through it,

A Commons select committee is conducting a fresh inquiry into the sanctions regime.

An Evidence Review for the All-Party Inquiry into Hunger and Food Poverty in Britain is available @ http://foodpovertyinquiry.org/

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation report Monitoring Poverty and Social Exclusion 2014 is available @ http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/monitoring-poverty-and-social-exclusion-2014