Boris Johnson tells us the UK’s economy is fundamentally sound, and only “small improvements” are needed, such as “addressing transport bottlenecks, improving rural bus services and broadband connections”.
None of that is true, though.
If it were, the Trussell Trust would not be telling us – on the same day – that more people are being forced to resort to food banks than ever before.
The charity has said problems with the benefit system run by the Tory-controlled Department for Work and Pensions have created a 23 per cent increase in the number of food parcels it has handed out, compared with the same period last year. It is the steepest rise since the organisation’s network of food banks was fully established.
That is not an indication of a “fundamentally sound” economy.
It is a sign that millions of UK citizens are on the brink of starvation, destitution, and collapse.
That is what nine years of unremittingly cruel Tory austerity has done to people like you and me.
The figures make nightmarish reading:
The trust distributed a record 823,145 food parcels between April and September, including 301,653 that went to children.
The DWP was responsible for all of the top three reasons cited by people needing emergency food: insufficient benefit income (36 per cent), delays in benefit payments (18 per cent), and changes to benefit (16 per cent).
It supports the findings of the Trust’s own State of Hunger report, that said benefit changes such as the imposition of Universal Credit and the Bedroom Tax were driving the increased use of food banks.
Of course, the link between benefit policies and extreme poverty is hotly contested by Tory ministers – despite the fact that it is clear to anybody capable of reason.
People only started going to food banks after the Conservatives cut tens of billions of pounds from the benefit budget. No other explanation presents itself and even if it did, this would be the simplest. Occam’s razor tells us that the simplest explanation for a phenomenon is most likely correct.
Labour has accused the government of pushing people into destitution, and promised to lift them out of it:
My Work provides daily examples of how inhumane Tory policies such as #universalcredit adversely affect people's lives.
This is why I am dedicated to volunteering and organising fundraisers at @Bexley_Foodbank
I stand with @MGreenwoodWW
— Anna Day (@Annarbanannar) November 13, 2019
The Trussell Trust has called for politicians of all parties to protect people from hunger – but you’ll notice that the Tories don’t even acknowledge that as being an issue to be addressed.
And when the government of the day refuses to admit the existence of a very clear and obvious danger to its citizens, it is time for the electorate to remove it.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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