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Manchester’s vulnerable left to rely on foodbanks because Government failed to kick-start economy, claims Wigan MP

By Henry Vaughan

People across Manchester are being left to rely on foodbanks because the Government has failed to kick-start the economy, a Wigan MP claimed yesterday.  

Food banks in the North West are the busiest in the country as more and more people turn to charity to provide for their most basic needs.

Figures released by the Trussel Trust, which runs nine foodbanks across the North West, show that each one was used by an average of 1,086 people between April and September 2012.

The charity says that its network of food banks across Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside has fed 13,500 people, compared to just 10 in the same period last year.

Wigan MP Lisa Nandy said: “The increase in the number of people relying on food banks in Wigan and across the North West is a shocking indictment of this Government’s failure to get the economy moving and protect the least well off.

“Forty percent of children across Greater Manchester are now growing up in poverty. The forthcoming Welfare Uprating Bill, which will reduce benefits for the very poorest, will make this shocking situation even worse.”

The bill would break the link between social security payments and living standards, capping most welfare increases at 1% for the next three years instead of in line with the consumer price inflation of 2.2%.

Ed Miliband grilled David Cameron yesterday during Prime Minister’s Questions over the level of poverty in Britain.

He said: “More children are going hungry and more families are relying on food banks.”

The Trussel Trust’s food banks provide at least three days worth of nutritionally-balanced food for people in crisis after being referred by a front-line health worker – the main reasons people are referred are delays in receiving benefits and low income.

The charity expects to feed more than 200,000 people across the country in 2012-13 as food and fuel bills continue to rise.

Ms Nandy added: “We need urgent action from Government to reversethis situation and prioritise the poorest instead of giving tax breaks to millionaires.”

Picture courtesy of Walmart, with thanks.

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