Stop feeding the poor’s hunger for more state handouts

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From: DS Boyes, Upper Rodley Lane, Leeds.

WITH Labour’s one and only topic these days being food banks, particularly from Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves, have they finally run out of ideas and/or alternative policies?

After all, the triple dip recession forecast by the Shadow Chancellor did not happen and the economy is expanding, albeit slowly. Employment is rising, new car sales are at record levels, over-generous welfare systems reformed and many working or retired are paying less or even no tax at all.

But a recent independent survey showed that apart from a few genuine claimants, many visiting food banks were just the greedy who go for anything free.

On Radio Leeds one food bank organiser speaking fairly and unbiased, said that some people actually needed advice on how to prepare or cook food economically, which seems to be a big part of the problem.

As OAPs, although lucky to have worked most of our lives, my wife and I have no difficulty in enjoying decent meals every day. As children, we saw our parents having to cope with food rationing for almost 10 years after the Second World War which taught us a lot.

From: Hugh Rogers, Messingham Road, Ashby.

ON the face of it, food banks are a good Christian response to perceived poverty. In fact they are simply making things worse by unwittingly promoting and sustaining an unhealthy culture of reliance upon handouts which in 21st century Britain is unnecessary.

We are not living in the Great Depression. Soup kitchens have no role to play in our society. Indeed, the Bishop of Wakefield is quite right when he reportedly says “there is no reason why anyone should not be able to afford sufficient food for their needs”. Somewhat puzzlingly, though, he demands “action”.

The trouble is that his idea of “action” appears to be that the Government should alleviate poverty. Fine, except that food banks are not a symptom of poverty. Their existence depends upon the (largely middle class) belief that they are necessary – a belief which is rapidly becoming self-fulfilling as more and more people, quite understandably, take advantage of the proffered charity.

To put it another way, some say that if there are food banks there must, ipso facto, be poverty.

Others point to the relative cheapness of staples like bread, milk, eggs, rice and pasta and say “How can it be that anyone is going hungry?”