DWP to waste £217k on foodbank research – but is it just a ploy to appease the UN?

So foodbanks have been appearing in the news almost daily of late. Now Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey has announced the Department for Work and pensions – DWP are going to waste £217,000 on researching IF their policies have contributed to the rise in foodbank use. As if they don’t already know the answer.

Trussell Trust foodbank (Trussell Trust)

Esther McVey appears to have been keeping a secret from us all regarding foodbanks. The Guardian has reported that officials at the DWP were drawing up plans in June to investigate if their policies have contributed towards the rise in foodbank use.

Of course every man and his dog already know the answer to that question. The fact they are going to waste hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers money is just a joke.

What’s worse is that we can’t expect to see any results until October 2019. That’s assuming it stays on track and in the land of the Tories, what does.

What is it actually looking at?

The study aims to interview 500 foodbank users and 600 foodbank managers amongst others.

They want to find if there is a link to “any areas of DWP policy of operational practices that may have contributed to a rise in demand for food bank services.”

They note a risk as “lack of co-operation from food banks/agencies.” I find that almost impossible to imagine. It is more likely that they’d be queuing up to talk to the DWP.

As I previously wrote, a comprehensive study by foodbank charity The Trussell Trust and Oxford University found that in areas where Universal Credit had been in operation for over 12 months, there was a 52% increase in foodbank use compared with the national average of 13%.

Of course the DWP then defended itself with; the survey size was too small. Low and behold here they are doing their own study, at our expense I might add.

Why now?

Professor Philip Alston is the current UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights

I highly suspect the timing is to do with this man. Professor Philip Alston.

He is a Special Rapporteur for the United Nations.

Special Rapporteurs are selected on the basis of their expertise and experience in the area of their mandate, personal integrity, independence and impartiality and objectivity. They are not employed by the United Nations and receive no remuneration for their UN work.

On November 5th until the 16th he will be visiting the UK to investigate the effect Tory austerity measures,like Universal Credit have had on people in the UK.

He is looking for submissions from anyone, be it an individual or organization that has been affected by austerity and cuts.

To read more about the planned visit and make a submission please click here.

Anyway, I suspect that the Tories want to look as if they are taking action to investigate the cause of foodbank use rising. Considering their policy has been to deny and demonize anyone that links Universal Credit to increased poverty I doubt that much will come of it.

I need your help.

Foodbanks and their users don’t have until next October to find out what we already know and what the government is going to do about it. They both need help now. Foodbanks across the country are running out of supplies daily.

The summer holidays has placed unprecedented pressure on them with what is known as “Holiday Hunger.” Children who usually rely on free school meals and school breakfast clubs now don’t have that luxury.

Many parent are now finding they cannot afford to feed their children and are turning to foodbanks.

I have started a petition on 38degrees to force the government to provide emergency funding for UK foodbanks. I intend if I can get enough signatures, to present this at 10 downing street. We cannot let the public do what the Tories should have done years ago.

You can sign the petition by following this link;


Please share it with as many people as you can as every signature really does count.

Alex Tiffin

@RespectIsVital on Twitter

Universal Credit Sufferer on Facebook

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