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This graph is nearly three years out of date. If anybody can provide a new version, please feel free to send it in via the comment column.

If you want to know why food banks have proliferated, look to the United States.

That’s where the Conservative Party adopted the policies that lead to food banks; that’s why they have become the UK’s only growth industry.

The policy, adopted by former President George W Bush, was known as ‘starving the beast’, and involved tax breaks for the very rich, creating a deficit in the US Treasury, which made it possible for him to claim public services were costing too much – and then cut public services.

Result: Instant destitution for people who relied on those public services – and the rise of foodbanks.

As in the US, so has it been in the UK.

I warned you about this, years ago.

When austerity was in its infancy in the UK a few years ago and I made my first visit to food banks around the country, the people queueing for help expressed a common anxiety: that this might become the “new normal”. Everyone hoped it wouldn’t yet here we are, in the summer of 2017, and food banks are now ubiquitous. Legions of citizens, including tens of thousands of children, now rely on these stopgap facilities to meet basic nutritional needs. And a recent report alarmingly predicts that their use is likely to rise with the impact of policies such as benefit freezes and the roll out of universal credit. To see how this has happened we need only to look across the Atlantic.

The UK’s journey down the road of dismantling its welfare state and blaming the needy follows closely in the footsteps of the American system and the narrative that has shaped it. While the richest are awarded lavish tax cuts, millions of people are rendered desperate and destitute, and inequality is cemented. This is indeed the “new normal”.

Source: Food poverty is the ‘new normal’ in the UK. We adopted it from the States | Society | The Guardian


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