Results of a poll by the Independent newspaper published today reveal that around 3.7 million people in the UK have relied on foodbanks for access to food, with researchers blaming the British government’s budget cuts and austerity measures, insisting they have left many “penniless with nowhere to turn.”
Experts and charities have previously backed up these claims, warning that rising levels of poverty in the UK – both relative and absolute – are due to spending cuts to welfare and local support programs.
The figures also show that around one in 14 Brits have skipped meals, or resorted to borrowing money from friends or payday lenders to put food on the table.
They attributed this to the Tory government’s policies, insisting that their austerity measures were causing “destitution by design.”
In addition to a lack of food, researchers at JFR warned that many Brits were unable to purchase suitable clothing and weren’t using central heating systems in their homes due to financial constraints.
A spokesperson for the UK government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) defended their “welfare reforms” despite rising levels of poverty and destitution.
“Work is the best route out of poverty and our welfare reforms incentivize employment while having the right support in place for those that need it. Universal credit lies at the heart of our commitment to improve lives, and it is seeing people move into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system,” the spokesperson said.
However, reacting to the newly released figures, the Labour Party’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Margaret Greenwood blamed the issue on the UK government’s policies.
Conservative austerity, we are seeing destitution reappearing on our streets. Benefit delays and sanctions are among key reasons why people are forced into destitution.”These figures are shocking. After eight years of
Although the British government set out to eliminate the budget deficit in 2010, and implemented welfare budget cuts to help achieve this goal, the Treasury has missed a number of key targets and deadlines of its deficit reduction plan.