Blackburn health expert warns Government over welfare cuts

PUBLIC health expert Dominic Harrison has blasted the Government for failing to recognise the link between welfare cuts and food poverty.

The director of public health at Blackburn with Darwen Council was one of six leading academics to sign a letter to the British Medical Journal this week, warning ministers of a potential ‘public health emergency’.

It comes amid reports that people are struggling to feed themselves, with the UK Red Cross now asking for food donations for the first time since the Second World War.

In October, the Lancashire Telegraph reported how the number of people using food banks in East Lancashire has more than tripled in the last year.

We have launched a campaign urging people to donate goods to their local foodbanks to help those in greatest need. Mr Harrison, who is also connected to the Department of Public Health and Policy at University of Liverpool, said: “In all senses that are meaningful, the UK is now showing strong evidence of a food poverty crisis.

“In the seventh wealthiest country in the world, ensuring we all have enough food to eat, it seems, is something the state is now prepared to leave to charities.

“Government ministers are claiming there is no robust evidence of a link between welfare reform and increasing food bank use.

“Yet the rise in food bank use is clearly associated with the rise in the cost of living, high energy prices, the imposition of bedroom tax and ‘benefit sanctions’ which catapult citizens with already high levels of personal debt into food poverty.

“As the multiple effects of debt, the financial crises and welfare reforms collapse into view it is likely that the public will feel that charity is not enough on this issue.”

A Government spokesman said: “The benefits system supports millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed and there is no robust evidence that welfare reforms are linked to the increased use of food banks.”

Comments (6)

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3:20pm Fri 6 Dec 13

frank says...

i suppose there's also no link between increased mental health problems and the government treating people like scum .
it's time this out of touch and morally bankrupt government opened it s eyes and saw past it's own greed, stopped allowing the filthy rich as much money as they can take and started looking after everyone.

not enough for food and no where near enough provision in mental health services.
still what do they care, they only see it as they drive past to another FREE banquet.
i suppose there's also no link between increased mental health problems and the government treating people like scum . it's time this out of touch and morally bankrupt government opened it s eyes and saw past it's own greed, stopped allowing the filthy rich as much money as they can take and started looking after everyone. not enough for food and no where near enough provision in mental health services. still what do they care, they only see it as they drive past to another FREE banquet. frank

11:10pm Fri 6 Dec 13

enonewrad says...

How did these food banks come to be? Was it some well meaning group who felt there was a need and then proceeded to set one up? And then what? People started using it, and word got round, then more and more people started to turn up creating demand for more and more food banks? Methinks the food banks actually created the 'need' which gives a lot of people the excuse to get out of budgeting their handouts (benefits) effectively. The only people who should be reliant on free handouts are the genuine homeless!
How did these food banks come to be? Was it some well meaning group who felt there was a need and then proceeded to set one up? And then what? People started using it, and word got round, then more and more people started to turn up creating demand for more and more food banks? Methinks the food banks actually created the 'need' which gives a lot of people the excuse to get out of budgeting their handouts (benefits) effectively. The only people who should be reliant on free handouts are the genuine homeless! enonewrad

11:20pm Fri 6 Dec 13

workaholic says...

Be interesting to see some statistics on suicide rates since this government came to power !
Be interesting to see some statistics on suicide rates since this government came to power ! workaholic

6:07pm Sat 7 Dec 13

enonewrad says...

workaholic wrote:
Be interesting to see some statistics on suicide rates since this government came to power !
Suicides will always take place irrespective of which goverment is in because the reasons that drive someone to take their own life are many and varied. Sometimes it is mental illness, sometimes a traumatic event has happened. You can blame the government (of any persuasion) for a multitude of things, but not an increase in suicides.
[quote][p][bold]workaholic[/bold] wrote: Be interesting to see some statistics on suicide rates since this government came to power ![/p][/quote]Suicides will always take place irrespective of which goverment is in because the reasons that drive someone to take their own life are many and varied. Sometimes it is mental illness, sometimes a traumatic event has happened. You can blame the government (of any persuasion) for a multitude of things, but not an increase in suicides. enonewrad

12:45am Sun 8 Dec 13

3 for 10p says...

enonewrad wrote:
How did these food banks come to be? Was it some well meaning group who felt there was a need and then proceeded to set one up? And then what? People started using it, and word got round, then more and more people started to turn up creating demand for more and more food banks? Methinks the food banks actually created the 'need' which gives a lot of people the excuse to get out of budgeting their handouts (benefits) effectively. The only people who should be reliant on free handouts are the genuine homeless!
Spot on.

I also notice these people are not in fag or booze poverty
[quote][p][bold]enonewrad[/bold] wrote: How did these food banks come to be? Was it some well meaning group who felt there was a need and then proceeded to set one up? And then what? People started using it, and word got round, then more and more people started to turn up creating demand for more and more food banks? Methinks the food banks actually created the 'need' which gives a lot of people the excuse to get out of budgeting their handouts (benefits) effectively. The only people who should be reliant on free handouts are the genuine homeless![/p][/quote]Spot on. I also notice these people are not in fag or booze poverty 3 for 10p

8:29am Sun 8 Dec 13

workaholic says...

How have you noticed that you cretin ? Have you been around to their houses individually to check ?? So easy to tar everyone with the same brush when your a biggot !
How have you noticed that you cretin ? Have you been around to their houses individually to check ?? So easy to tar everyone with the same brush when your a biggot ! workaholic

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