The Trussell Trust report released today has revealed evidence from 130 foodbanks showing an increase in the effect of social security sanctioning. As a member of the Work and Pensions Select Committee (W&PSC) I have been demanding that the Government set up a 2nd independent inquiry into the ‘appropriateness of sanctions’.
Last November the W&PSC welcomed a commitment from Esther McVey, Minister of State for Employment, to instigate an inquiry into sanctioning but this promise was later overturned by the Government.
When I organised a recent collection for our foodbank, the manager, Andrew Barr, told me that 65% of the people coming to them for support were there because they were being affected by problems with their social security.
Today’s Trussell Trust report is providing yet more evidence that the Government’s tactics are to skew the unemployment data by targeting tens of thousands of vulnerable people despite the misery and hardship this policy is causing.
It’s also worth noting that many of the people caught up in this government’s disgraceful, ideologically driven, policy to smear anyone on social security as a ‘scrounger’ are actually in work but on low salaries.
My question is what have they got to hide?
Hear Oldham Foodbank Manager, Andrew Barr, talk about his work here in Oldham – “People come into the foodbank and they’re in despair; they’ve got nothing and no way of getting anything.”