JOBCENTRES ISSUE VOUCHERS FOR FOOD BANKS WITH NO FOOD.
Until we have affordable housing, and adequate minimum incomes in work and unemployment, the poverty, and poverty related debt, of working age adults and their children is set to get ever worse. The GPs surgeries are experiencing ever longer queues.
Here is a report about food poverty in Tottenham followed by a letter published by The Guardian yesterday.
TOTTENHAM RESIDENTS' INCOMES ARE STOPPED; THEY ARE FORCED INTO HOPELESS DEBT, AND JOBCENTRES ISSUE VOUCHERS FOR FOOD BANKS WITH NO FOOD.
Yesterday, 16th May, I was at a meeting at Somerford Grove Adventure Playground and learnt that the food bank in Tottenham is in crisis.
To run efficiently they need a large central store and several distribution points.
They were evicted from their large store in Laurence Road.
So now the increasing demand is falling on the Somerford Grove Adventure Playground; they do not have the volunteers, the space the food, or the money to cope. People are going hungry.
The Tottenham Jobcentres are creating false hopes by issuing food vouchers which cannot supply food to callers with vouchers,
leading to distressing scenes with people weeping and hungry.
Some benefit claimants also have no electricity so cannot cook, turn the lights on or keep warm. They inevitably have Utility, rent arrears and other unmanageable debts.
The impact of sanctions, bedroom tax, housing benefit cap, and £500 overall benefit cap is already creating a food desert in Tottenham. The enforcement of council tax by Haringey Council will make it even worse.
The plan is to set up an efficient central food store in Tottenham, where the vast majority of the poorest households are to be found in the Haringey Borough.
As you know food banks do not end poverty, hunger, or poverty related debt, they only feed people for three days; but we are all forced to run them by the government when incomes are cut so low they cannot buy necessities or pay the rent and council tax..
Letter in The Guardian 16 May 2013.
HELP FROM CHARITIES BECOMING A LOTTERY
Randeep Ramesh (Society, 15 May) highlights the conflict for charities between campaigning against the outrageous injustice of the government's policy of imposing caps, cuts and council tax on poverty incomes and also being paid by the same government to deliver the policy. He describes the vulnerability of charities' government funding when Tory ministers, "scarred by battles with campaigners", start a "bout of creative destruction". The political activities of charities are also limited by the charity commissioners, who might take exception to trustees engaging in mass civil disobedience against such damaging oppression of the poorest citizens.
The effect is to weaken the already vulnerable position of the poorest individuals and families, for whom none of the parliamentary parties makes a convincing stand. The poorest are a minority and rarely vote. All of which calls for enough decent people, who understand the injustice being done, to fund politically independent lobbying organisations, which are not charities, whose sole purpose is the eradication of income poverty, the introduction of fair taxes and the provision of decent and affordable housing.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty
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