Food bank riddle
PUBLISHED: 07:10 16 May 2014
RE: “No single cause for rising demand at food banks” (Journal, April 24).
Many people will question why people using the Exmouth Food Bank have increased by 700 per cent over the last year (which is also increasing nationally) when the Office for National Statistics reported on April 29 that the economy had grown by three per cent over 2013 and unemployment was down.
But maybe we now have one answer. The ONS reported the next day the increasing use being made of zero-hour contracts, employing individuals without guaranteeing them a minimum number of hours, which has been growing since 2008. This doesn’t sound like a recovery that is working for everyone.
The jobs market is becoming more precarious and insecure than the Government is willing to admit and probably one of the main reasons for the in-work poverty that is growing nationally. The National Institute of Economic and Social Research has also indicated a drop in real pay by 14 per cent, at levels last seen 16 years ago.
Mr Bernard is right in some respects that easy credit has led people down a slippery slope (payday loans for instance). But they have tried to deal with their own situation by the only way available. However, the welfare state has kept many afloat in what could have been dire circumstances since the recession set in.
There have been winners and losers in the three decades of what is called neoliberal capitalism which, as Jenny Budden has pointed out, has led to widening gaps of inequality in society. The biggest losers out of all of this are the younger generation who are becoming the real victims.