Food banks and zero hours contracts

“Global inflation in the price of food began in late 2006, and especially after the financial crisis of 2007–08 began to further worsen economic conditions for those on low income.

The growth of food banks has been broadly welcomed, most especially by those on the right of the political spectrum, but also by many on the left, who see them as evidence of active community that is independent of the state. However, academics and commentators have expressed concern that the rise of foodbanks may erode political support for welfare provision. Researchers have reported that food banks can be inefficient compared with state run services, and that some people feel ashamed at having to turn to them”.


The above is a quote from a Wikipedia article on food banks, and it is highly relevant for the welcome by right wingers in the UK.  They see this as a means of cutting welfare payments, the “something for nothing” attitude so shockingly adopted by Johann Lamont when she was the Labour leader in Scotland.


I was born in 1934, and lived through the Second World War; admittedly I was aged 11 when the war ended so was not politically aware, but I remember rationing and shortage of fruit in particular, but nobody starved, there were no food banks to which underpaid workers were patronisingly referred.  This is not an attack on food banks but on the political climate which has spawned them.


As far as my comment on underpaid workers is concerned, the use of zero hours contracts was something unheard of during my working life.  We keep getting told that the austerity plan is working and that jobs are being created in astonishing numbers – can it be that people on zero hours contracts are classed as in jobs?  Irony of ironies – you have a job, so that makes you a good statistic for the government, but if you don’t get paid – or just get buttons, it doesn’t help the economy, a con there.


So there you have it, they are beating the deficit created by their pals in the financial world to whom they have given reduced tax rates, seen charity taking over what government should do and taken people off  unemployment


It was just like the previous wheeze when people who were unemployed had unemployment benefit stopped and then had to go for disability benefit so the government said the number of unemployed was down.

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  1. My mother brought up her ever-growing family during the 30s – 40s mostly single handed with her husband away at sea. Mother said they were the lucky one, your dad had a job although it was in the Antarctic fishing for wales, at home ques would form outside factory and dockyards few were given a days work the unfortunate went home and the kids went to bed hungry. Fast forward 2015 there are no gathering of men outside factory gates, not now, now men and women sit at home by the telephone awaiting a call from there Zero hour contract employer hopping for the offering of a few hours work, so they may be able to pay the rent and keep a roof over their head. Their kids will not be going hungry to bed, not in 2015, for there is a food bank just down the road. We live in one of the richest nations in the world yet how far have we come since my parents time?

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