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Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey MP has caused outrage after stating that foodbanks are the “perfect way to try and marry the challenges that people do face in difficult times in the life.” The already unpopular head of the Department and Work and Pensions (DWP) Coffey, was responding to a question from new Labour MP, Zarah Sultana at Work and Pensions questions in the House of Commons.
The latest remarks by the head of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) are unfortunately not in the least bit surprising. In the past senior Tory MPs have been keen to either blame foodbank users for the problems, or just ignore why their use is rising and push them as a solution.
During the 2017 General Election campaign, now Foreign Secretary Dominic Rabb was blasted for comments he made on The Victoria Derbyshire Program. Rabb responded to a question foodbank use by saying;
“Look, in terms of the food bank issue, I’ve studied the Trussell Trust data.
“What they tend to find is the typical user of a food bank is not someone who’s languishing in poverty, it’s someone who has a cash flow problem episodically.”
This goes against every report that Trussell Trust have ever released. In reality, Universal Credit and Welfare Reforms have consistently blamed for the unimaginable rise in foodbank use in the UK.
Last year at an election hustings, Conservative candidate for Broxtowe Darren Henry caused outrage for suggesting that Foodbank users take out a payday loan to cover their food costs. Despite these comments. Henry was elected on December 12th and now sits as a MP in the commons.
DWP Boss Ignorant Of Situation
Yesterday, 27th January, new the new Labour MP for Coventry South asked a question during Work and Pensions question in the House of Commons. This session is meant to be for MPs to challenge the DWP on various issues, but is little more than a platform for the government to preach their buzz phrases about higher employment and lower poverty.
Sultana asked Work and Pensions Secretary Theresa Coffey;
“There are more food banks in Britain than there are McDonald’s restaurants—a company that I know recently paid off its fired British boss with roughly £30 million. Does the Minister accept that it is a gross injustice that nurses are forced to use food banks while fat-cat bosses receive obscene payouts?“
Coffey rose to the dispatch box and gave an rather upbeat response to the millions of people so poor they can’t afford food. With no shame Coffey said;
“I visited a similar food bank in my own constituency that has been working together with food redistribution schemes. Marrying the two is a perfect way to try to address the challenges that people face at difficult times in their lives.”
The question and response can be viewed in the two videos below, posted by the Coventry South MP.
Since the Tories massive election win in December, it has become clear that they are slowly returning to the “benefit scrounger” rhetoric, happily aided by right-wing media outlets.
The next five years are going to be tough for people living on the breadline, the Tories have a free reign to do as they wish. That is why it is important more than ever, that we challenge injustice at every opportunity.
Do not allow your rights to be trampled on. I like other independent media outlets will continue to highlight issues that matter to help inform and protect people from any cuts or unlawful actions.