"Working Poor" Spark 170% Increase In Britons Needing Food Handouts In Past Year

Tyler Durden's picture

While the dismal news of endlessly rising food stamp recipients in the US seems to be glossed over by most of the media because, well, stock markets are at all-time highs, in Britain, things are becoming increasingly awful. As the FT reports, the number of people receiving emergency food rations has surged from 130,000 to almost 350,000 in the past year. As inflation eroded incomes and government austerity pushed hundreds of thousands into crisis, the 'working poor' has emerged. The food bank provider estimates about half of the households it helped has at least one person in work. During the Great Depression, the desperation was graphically evident with long lines of families waiting for soup; in the new depression, the record levels of starving and needy are hidden by a blanket of EBT cards and direct transfers from government. The situation is no less terrible - no matter how hidden from view. As one food bank manager noted, "the fundamental thing is that more and more people are living an increasingly precarious life financially."

 

Via The FT,

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The 170 per cent surge in demand for food handouts will fuel debate over the impact of government austerity on poorer households, amid concerns about the effect on demand as consumers cut back on everyday spending.

 

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For policy makers, the high proportion of emergency food going to working households illustrates the wider trend in the post-recession job market, where many new jobs are part time, temporary and low paid – meaning even those in work sometimes struggle to put food on the table.

 

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“There was a real shock with one group [of donors] at the concept of the working poor... We know many people who are doing everything they can; they’re in a job, they can’t find another job that pays more, they’re paying rent, water, council tax, electric, and they honestly struggle to buy food for their family.”

 

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On food bank manager noted... “We are being so pressured to fill the gap that is now being created by the welfare reforms – and we’re not that. We are meant to be short-term help.”

 

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"the fundamental thing is that more and more people are living an increasingly precarious life financially."