A political issue
PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 May 2014
I totally commend the vital work done by the Exmouth Community Larder, but I cannot agree with the manager’s comments, as reported in the Journal (“No single cause for rising demand at food banks”, April 24, page 11) that it is not a political issue or that the welfare state has played a part in the rise of food banks.
People not having enough food to eat is the end product of the income inequality that has been growing in the UK since the 1980s, due to the development of global capitalism.
Successive governments have sought to mask this by encouraging rising house prices and failing to regulate easy credit. The austerity policies since 2010 have only exacerbated the trend.
However, does my generation, who grew up during the post-war political consensus, which held that full employment was vital after the horrors of the 1930s depression and the Second World War, underpinned by housing security, free healthcare, education and rising living standards, have any right to suggest that being able to put food on the table is in any way a privilege rather than a right?
Food banks represent a failure of the government to maintain the welfare state and those of us who are its prime recipients in terms of index linked pensions and free health care, which gives us security in meeting the infirmities of old age, should be careful not to undermine it.