Tory MP : Food banks can become bad habit among poor people Oct 3, 2013 16:52:40 GMT
Post by Focus on Oct 3, 2013 16:52:40 GMT
Paul Maynard, MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, said: “We can’t make food banks part of the welfare state ... it can become a habit”
Banks a lot : Volunteer Maureen Wiltshire puts together a food parcel
A Tory MP has been blasted for claiming emergency food parcels should not be given to people because they could become reliant on them.
Paul Maynard, who works for Minister of State Oliver Letwin, said people could start going to food banks out of habit rather than helping themselves.
Mr Maynard, Tory MP for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, was speaking at a food poverty summit in Manchester.
He said: “I value personal responsibility. My main concern for the immediate future is that people have the most money in their pockets as possible.
“I do not believe that immediate food relief should be the role of the Government.
“We can’t make food banks part of the welfare state.
“What I don’t want to do is normalize food poverty. In Canada you have people going to food banks every week and it can become a habit.”
But charities hit back, saying people were turning to food banks because of benefit cuts and delays.
Food bank chief Chris Mould said: “Comments like these are unhelpful because they paint a false picture.
"Food banks are not a drop in service, you can’t just come along because you feel like some free food.
“Vouchers are signed by front-line professionals, people the public trust.”
The vouchers are given out by job centres, doctors and social workers.
Mr Mould, who runs the Trussell Trust - the largest network of food banks in the UK - said people who used food banks turned to them just three times in total, on average.
This showed “people are not reliant, they have not developed a habit”, he said.
Mr Mould added: “My message to MPs who make comments like this is - before you speak find out what it’s like to face an immediate financial crisis, to be under this enormous pressure.
“You can wander round with your head in the clouds or you can look at the situation and see the millions of people who are struggling.
“These comments are demeaning to people who have substantial dignity and are also inaccurate.”
The remarks come after Education Secretary Michael Gove said families often had to use food banks because they were not budgeting properly.
A record number of people have used food banks in the past year, with the numbers expected to rise in the wake of the Government’s welfare reforms.
The arrogance of these t..ts never ceases to fcking amaze me!! - Fx