Lord Freud

A government minister has rejected suggestions that austerity policies have led to an increase in food bank use — making the astonishing suggestion that food bank charities are somehow to blame.

Former investment banker and peer David Freud, a minister in DWP, told the Lords this afternoon that the increase in the usage of food banks was “supply led”.

“If you put more food banks in, that is the supply. Clearly, food from the food banks is a free good and by definition with a free good there’s almost infinite demand.”

In the wake of the longer wait for unemployment benefits introduced by George Osborne last week, Freud also rejected suggestions by leading food bank operators that delays in benefit payments drove demand for emergency food aid.

His comments come after similar straw-clutching from other senior Tory figures — including secretary of state Iain Duncan Smith — that the growing number of food banks is down to advertising in Jobcentres and an increase in volunteers.

Evidently this is what Cameron meant by the Big Society.

  1. No concept of what is happening in the real world!
    These people are so far removed from society! It’s ‘us v them’ folks!

  2. Has this guy ever gone hungry? I dont think many in this government knows, or cares, what its like to live below the breadline!

  3. Mary Jackson says:

    They know what and why it’s happening but they think we are stupid enough to believe their lies. They have spent the last three yeas demonising the poor and think they can get away with it because there has been no united working class backlash. They mistake the cowardice of the TUC for acceptance by the class. They are wrong!

  4. have they been food shopping in say the last 20 years! If they perhaps had done one shop every half decade they wouldn’t be so stupid…food prices up 9% in past few years. IDS thinks bedroom tax is a success….Freuds with the fairys , as is Gove. As a therapist non of these people realty test, and as this is causing harm to others they ought really to be sectioned. That would be more humane than what happened to Marie Antoinette when she ceased to reality check ‘let them eat cake’

  5. charlie Fox says:

    Oh yes, people will put up with any amount of humiliation in order to get a free run of spaghetti hoops.

  6. In this area food banks only supply when the request is supported by a voucher from an agency such as CAB who check need. Maximum 3 food parcels per annum

  7. Chris Osborne says:

    Absoultely unforgivable comment. Ifhe had worked at a Food Bank distribution
    centre he would cringe at making such a comment. HE SHOULD BE SACKED… I dare you Mr Cameron.
    Trussell Trust Food banks are carefully managed and are not open season free supermarkets. They are there for genuine cases wnd 90% of recipients are there due to benefit problems! As someone who suffers at the hand of the benefit system currently you could not write the script yourself. Get a grip on what goes on internally before speaking out Lord Freud. Of course you will not!! Prize plonker.

  8. Charlie fox u ever gone hungry are u struggling with benefits judgemental human being, I know alot of people that use food banks not cause they want its because they have to

  9. Don Atkinson says:

    Lord Freud or should this be Lord FRAUD due to him being an ex investment banker does not agree that austerity measures are the cause of the rise of food banks. Most people do not choose to be unemployed but as a result of the benefit changes more people and a great majority are employed but still use food banks. Lord Freud and I D S do not live in our world but it is time they did together with the rest of the Politicians. Unfortunately we cannot vote out the Lords but we can vote out the rest of the politicians who claim extortionate expenses at the TAX PAYERS EXPENSE. Time for a radical change I think.

  10. Steven Casey says:

    “If you put more food banks in, that is the supply. Clearly, food from the food banks is a free good and by definition with a free good there’s almost infinite demand.”

    Replace “food” with “money” and we can see his and the other parasites determination for spewing this filth.

  11. Steven Casey says:

    The daily attendance fee he claims could feed a family for a week. It could feed a single person for a month.

    He will have other private income but was probably only made a Lord so that he could influence government policy like Saeda (Muslim can’t even get elected in a Muslim consituency) Warsi. The corruption in public life is without bounds

  12. This coming from the man who introduced the ‘bedroom tax’ This moron truly lives in a bubble…
    try the real world you might then wake up and smell the coffee!!!

  13. Patrick Thomas says:

    This idiot has no concept of what is going on in the real world. Time he was rejected!!

  14. John Young says:

    [EDIT: See our editor’s response to this nonsense below]

    Sorry to break your handy little consensus, but he didn’t say that at all. You should check the Hansard record of the debate.


    Lord Freud said the following in response to three different questions:

    “My Lords, there is actually no evidence as to whether the use of food banks is supply led or demand led.”

    This contradicts the whole point of your story.

    “My Lord, as I said, it is difficult to make causal connections [between changes to benefits and increase in food bank use]. The Trussell Trust has said that one reason why people have come to it is benefit delays. I checked through the figures and in the period of that increase the number of delays that we had had reduced. It went up by four percentage points over the past three years, and our delays now stand at 90%. It is difficult to know which came first, the supply or the demand.”

    This shows that delays in delivering benefits have decreased in recent years, and restates that Lord Freud is making no statement as to whether food bank usage is supply or demand driven, again contradicting your story.

    … and when answering a specific point about economic analysis, he said this.

    “If that sounded like jargon, I apologise. I meant that food from a food bank—the supply—is a free good, and by definition there is an almost infinite demand for a free good.”

    This is just him clarifying the meaning of a bit of academic economic jargon.

    At no point did he say “If you put more food banks in, that is the supply”. Where did you get this part of the quote from? No matter where you got it from, it isn’t in the Hansard record of this debate (see link above).

    I’d encourage all of the other commenters to read Hansard before jumping on this bandwagon of righteous indignation, based on inaccurate quoting. I’d encourage Political Scrapbook to retract this article, which is clearly based on incorrect quotes, and seriously review their fact-checking processes.

  15. Typical coming from a Tory and a Tory Lord to boot. (That it isn’t surprising is almost as worrying as the statement being made itself.)

    There is a Dilbert cartoon with a line in it that goes: “Excellent, I’m in a position of direct control but oblique responsibility.”

    Sums up that Tory pretty well and its fair to say – I cannot stand them at all.

    @Kellie Fender, I think Charlie Fox was being sarcastic. 🙂

  16. this is how out of touch these people are they have no idea of what is happening in the real world and while they are cushioned from any crises the poor are being hit from every side .there ignorance says it all

  17. On what planet does this tory twit live on “I’m being polite using the word twit”. His party has brought this county to it’s knees, with boosting a low wage economy, mass unemployment, cripling cuts to the benefits to both the poor and disabled on one hand. While at the same time cutting taxes of the super rich by 10%, boosting the sales of social housing, at the same time taxing people in social housing with spare rooms. On the pretext of there being a shortage of social housing. This is truly a MAD MAD government which continues to show no mercy on anyone who’s struggling.

  18. Yet another Tory Milionaire living somewhere else, but definely not in the poor mans world. Did anyone notice that Forien spouses wanting to join their wives and children living here, have to earn £16000+ per annumn. Yet in figures released by the Government state that 47% of workers in this country earn less. Welcome to BLUE BRITAIN and the tory mantra “DEVIDE and RULE”.

  19. @John Young: Why don’t you go and look at the video because that’s exactly what he says:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/house-of-lords-23149150 (5 mins 50 seconds)

    You are wrongly assuming that Hansard is a verbatim transcript of what is said in parliament. It isn’t.

    There is daily horse trading between parliamentarians and Hansard staff, with many looking to “clarify” their remarks post hoc.

    You’ve obviously never heard the joke that applicants for jobs with Hansard are required to watch a video of a John Prescott speech … and then transcribe what he actually meant to say.

  20. John Young says:

    @Laurence fair point, I see he did say that – you have taught me something about the practicalities of politics, for which I’m grateful. However, now that I’ve seen the footage, it’s obvious that this article is pulling his words right out of context. When he said, “If you put more food banks in, that is the supply”, that was just him clarifying the meaning of the terms which he had used previously, when he said “It is difficult to know which came first, the supply or the demand”. He’s not saying that food banks *are* led by supply or demand; he’s merely defining his terms.

    My main point still stands: he twice said something that contradicts the thrust of this story, which is what makes this story so weak.

  21. Jean Richardson says:

    Absolutely disgusting, this mans actions have contributed to thousands of sick and disabled being forced into poverty, many hundreds of children are suffering hardship. How does this man think that someone who is on JSA getting just a pittance of just over £70 expect to live, also when the so called bedroom tax is deducted taking many thousands into debt with a choice to either buy food or electric.This situation is going to get much much worse as the winter draws near, people will not only be going without meals but will also feel freezing too because you just can’t live at all on a pittance. This government are to blame for the poverty it’s putting the people into, they are also to blame for the suicides of many, and this also is set to rise because people are destitute.
    How can this awful man sleep at night knowing he was the one to make these decisions to cut peoples benefits to the bone, hasn’t he got a brain to realise that you just cannot live on around fifty pound a week. This country should never have food banks at all, full stop, they have been easy to blame the so called scroungers when in fact it’s the lords and MPs who are the ones scrouging big fat salaries and expenses from the public purse, it’s shameful !!! that these MPs are living in the height of luxury whilst many thousands are starving, kids are going to school without proper meals and returning from school to very little. The so called bedroom tax is a total farce, it’s a no brainer, forcing people out of their homes of which many have been altered to suit the disabled, also there isn’t nowhere near enough one and two bedroomed properties to house everyone. It’s stupid that someone is forced from a two bedroom property into a private sector property which costs more in rent, yet the higher rent will be paid.
    This country is on it’s knees thanks to this government, they haven’t got a clue about what’s happening in the real world, and what’s more they are stupidly costing even more money with ideas that just are not working, just look at the state of the NHS and the dial 111, how much have they wasted on implementing that then, millions are being just thrown away in administration, what’s more how much is being wasted in the huge salaries and expenses we continue to pay the MPs, and they have the audacity to take huge pay rises whilst a huge amount of the population work hard to survive. One of Camerons favourite sayings is “you will always be better in work” what a big fat lie this is, when people cannot find a decent paid job for love nor money, there are more part time jobs around on minimum pay than anything if one can find a job at all, being in a part time job on mimimum wage isn’t going to give a person a decent living, you couldn’t even afford to buy a house at all, even if you had two people in a household working it would be impossible. This country is heading for a disaster, what is there for our children in the future.
    I am ashamed of the policies this govenment have implemented that as bought such poverty on people and drove people to suicide and despair, they ought to hang there heads in shame…DISGUSTING !!!

  22. hate the torys says:

    why are these morons getting away with all the crap they come out with. George Osborne was getting child benefit for his 2 kids, how dear blame the charities for the way people have to turn to them so they can eat, he doesn’t need child benefit to feed his kids when will someone take notice and put a stop to what’s really going on. How many more people are going commit suicide before they say oh sorry we have got it wrong, there screwing us all, but some bastards voting them in .I hope your proud of yourselfs,you have blood on your hands am wondering if you sleep at night . I hope you dont

  23. This government will blame anyone other than themselves for the difficulties we are in at the moment, plus they don’t give a sh*t about those less well off than them, they are the typical ‘I am alright Jack, you can go……..’

  24. Barry E Longden says:

    I was stupid enough to vote these imbeciles in and for that I should be shot. That would be preferable to being homeless which is what I’ll be if these Tories carry on doing as they are doing and if they get in again by some dreadful occurrence. They’ll do anything to stay in power to achieve their desired ends.

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