Speaking in a debate on the rise of food banks in in the House of Commons, Roger Godsiff MP condemned the economic inequality and Government indifference which have forced people to turn to “modern-day soup kitchens”.
In his speech, Roger talked about the experience of one his constituents who had to use a food bank in Sparkhill. She had a well-paid job, but after losing her job and suffering bereavements, she was forced to rely on benefits. She got into debt with her utility bills, and had to spend most of her JSA on paying the ever-rapacious energy and water companies, leaving her with just £5 per fortnight to live on.
Happily, this constituent has now found a job and is feeling hopeful about the future, but Roger emphasised that no-one in the world’s seventh largest economy should be forced to rely on food banks to survive. The state has a duty to provide a safety net for its citizens, and should not abandon them to the instabilities of unregulated markets.
Roger concluded his speech: “The Government ought to be ashamed of presiding over a situation in which people must go through what that young lady, who is not feckless or a shirker, has had to experience. At the end of the day, lives will be scarred by the humiliation of forcing people into food banks—not just the lives of those individuals, but the lives of their children, too. Whatever the Government say, their MPs should be ashamed of that.”
You can read Roger’s full speech here