Food bank demand grows as benefits cut – claim

Walsall councilors donate to needy.

Recent research has unveiled that cuts to benefits made by the Tory and Liberal Democrat coalition government have stripped out more than £30 million from the local economy in Walsall, according to the town’s council opposition group.

Sean Coughlan, deputy leader of the Labour group on Walsall Council, commented on the impact of these cuts on local jobs and services: “That is £30 million less that has been spent in local shops, as people who are on benefits are the most likely to spend locally on food and other essential goods.”

“It is for that reason that we are seeing the enormous increase in the use of food banks run by local charities for families on the breadline, something which many of us never thought we would see in our lifetime. Britain remains a wealthy country, certainly for those at the top, but that is not the experience of the majority of families across Walsall.”

“We would praise the work of local people who put in many voluntary hours to provide food banks. At a recent meeting Labour councillors raised £560 to donate to this cause, and would urge others to do the same by donating food or cash.”

Councillor Coughlan made it clear that this was about vulnerable people in our local communities facing hardship as a result of government policies. “Of course none of us will condone instances of benefits fraud – which cheats all of us – but we have to remember that this constitutes a tiny proportion of the bill for benefits, less than 0.7% according to official government figures.”