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'Bin diving': It is likely that the man who died while looking for food in a Wirral rubbish bin looked very similar to this man in Chelyabinsk, Russia, before the refuse lorry scooped him up and crushed him to death. Your Coalition Government will try every trick in the book to deny responsibility for it.

‘Bin diving’: It is likely that the man who died while looking for food in a Wirral rubbish bin looked very similar to this man in Chelyabinsk, Russia, before the refuse lorry scooped him up and crushed him to death. Your Coalition Government will try every trick in the book to deny responsibility for it.

“One of our clients was sanctioned. He had
no money for seventeen weeks. He was
scavenging in a bin, the lorry came, picked
him up and he was crushed to death.”

The above is a statement by Vince Hessey, a member of the board of trustees at Birkenhead YMCA (listed as YMCA Wirral), given in evidence to the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the United Kingdom, printed in the section entitled The vulnerability of people relying on food banks.

The inquiry’s aims included investigating the underlying causes of hunger and food poverty in the UK, and considering ways of improving the situation.

The report’s central recommendation is for the creation of a new national network called Feeding Britain, composed of the food bank movement and other providers of food assistance, the voluntary organisations redistributing fresh surplus food, the food industry and representatives from ‘each of the eight government departments whose policy affects the numbers of people at risk of hunger’.

That’s all very well, but something isn’t right here.

What about the fact that a major cause of hunger and food poverty in the UK is the UK’s own government?

What about the fact that a decision by a UK government employee, following guidelines set down by UK government ministers, led to a man being crushed to death in a refuse collection lorry?

What about the fact that this was one of many incidents that would not have happened if UK government policy had been different?*

And what about the fact that the UK government clearly couldn’t care less?

Thanks are due to Ann McGauran, the blogging food bank helper, for raising this issue. Her own article on the Feeding Britain report goes into far greater detail and may be found here.

*See, for example:

Dying woman ordered onto the Work Programme

DWP urged to publish inquiries on benefit claimant suicides

Woman’s benefits sanctioned when she is 23 weeks pregnant

Claimant death: Job Centre staff say: “We are only following orders”

Too poor to eat; too long to wait

The work capability assessment and suicide – a.k.a. ‘chequebook euthanasia’

Work capability assessor asked why depressed claimant had not committed suicide

Inquiry to be launched into ex-soldier’s death after JSA stopped

Was Mark Wood the last stumbling-block for Atos?

Was Stephanie Bottrill a victim of corporate manslaughter?

Smith v Jones over benefits, the disabled and the truth about homelessness

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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