The below Parliamentary question was asked by Rushanara Ali on 2016-06-20.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, if he will make an assessment of the implications for his policies on benefits eligibility of the conclusion in the University of Hull report, entitled Mapping hunger, published in April 2016, that food bank use is highest in areas with people in skilled manual work or where more people are unable to work due to long-term sickness or disability.
This government is determined to move to a higher wage society, introducing the new National Living Wage that will benefit over 1 million workers directly this year, and spending £80 billion on working age benefits to ensure a strong safety net for those who need it most. We are also committed to supporting people with disabilities and currently spend a record £50 billion a year doing so.
There are no plans to amend our reforms that are ensuring that work always pays and are restoring fairness for hardworking taxpayers. As the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger noted, the reasons why people use food banks can be complex and are frequently overlapping. Their use cannot be attributed to a single cause.
Our welfare system provides a strong safety net to those who need extra support.