• DWP and Tories on attack after 50% rise in food bank use
  • Whitehall source: biggest food bank charity is “misleading” and “emotionally manipulative”
  • Thatcher minister Edwina Currie pens smear column in The Sun

Trussell Trust food bank is 'manipulative'

Iain Duncan Smith’s department has launched a sickening attack against the UK’s largest food bank charity after they revealed yesterday that food bank use had increased by more than 50% in just twelve months.

A “Whitehall source” — almost certainly from within DWP — briefed the following smears to the Daily Mail alongside a quote from an official spokesman:

“[The Trussell Trust is engaged in] fairly misleading and emotionally manipulative publicity seeking”

“It’s not entirely surprising given Chris Mould is effectively running a business.”

The hypocrisy of these statements is simply breathtaking — coming from a department which cites a lack of credible data linking food bank use to harsh welfare policies (while refusing to collect their own) and has been repeatedly censured for their misleading press releases and statistical abuse.

The appearance of an op-ed in The Sun (£) from Edwina Currie belies the level of co-ordination behind the rearguard action — but At least former Thatcher minister has the guts to put her confused thoughts under her own name.

After remarking “Are people going hungry? I don’t believe so”, Currie then parrots a claim made by millionaire minister Lord Freud that food bank parcels are an unrestricted free good — driving a spike in demand from anyone that fancies (in the Sun’s caption) “lining up for some free nosh”:

“Let’s remind ourselves of one basic fact — if something worth having is being handed out free, there will be many willing takers. There are more users because there are more food banks. It’s obvious.”

But she then contradicts herself in the, errr, next paragraph by admitting that you need to be referred to a food bank from a partner organisation such as a Jobcentre:

“They are a hand-out, not a hand-up and it’s no surprise claimants are queuing up as new ones open, vouchers in hand obtained from almost anyone in authority.”

The red top saves the worst until last, however, with this quote about obtaining “top brand” products and “restaurant tokens” with “no worry about cost”:

'Food bank user' in The Sun

The message: feckless food bank users are on the take.

  1. Labour don’t pay benefits; they’re not in government. Unless this is a question specifically about Wales?

    Irrespective of which party is in government, though, of course they should pay higher benefits.

  2. Michelle driver says:

    Both labour and conservatioves are rssponible for the food banks, all the immegarnts are taking the benefits so they ahve had to do something however, they are taking benefit cuts from the wrong people

  3. One of the most depressing things is that so many people who work need food banks, and top up benefits. We need a living wage and an end to zero hours contracts, we will then see the food bank crisis decline and actually make work pay!

  4. It’s a year since crisis loans were scrapped andcin that year food bank usage has increased dramatically, yetvthe Gov say no link to welfare reform. Absolute shameful rot. They are trying to deflect and discredit the truth that they are systematically persecuting the most vulnerable. The Sun and the adulterer Edwina Currie should be ashamed

  5. “Do you think foodbanks show that Labour should pay higher benefits?”

    Guido – we all know you’re a craven Tory, but surely even you must see that your mates are out to vilify the destitute and hungry, and charities, with these small minded and amoral utterances?

    What’s the matter with you?

  6. Randall Northam says:

    Never ask a Tory what’s the matter with them. You won’t get a straight answer unless you’re Nigel Evans and you want legal aid.

  7. Robert Catesby says:

    @ Guido Fawkes – you were the expert with Gunpowder, but Catesby was the leader of The Gunpowder Plotters and they were both Catholic!

    I understand that not anyone can make use of a Food Bank, but only those in the greatest need. With one of the worst recessions since the 30’s, I can well believe the need is there.

    The price of many foodstuffs has gone up and so interestingly has the incidence of Middle Class shoplifting. More affluent people have been caught shoplifting at upmarket stores such as Waitrose and M&S for more expensive food items for their dinner parties.

    It appears they wish to keep up appearances, like Hyacinth Bouquet, and are embarrassed at not being able to serve more expensive items food.

    Is it any wonder that discount stores such as Aldi, Lidl, B&M Bargains, Home Bargains and various £ stores are doing well, whilst middle ranking supermarkets such as Tesco are losing business. Many people, including median wage earners, are strapped for cash and those on the lowest incomes are struggling to pay rent, energy bills and food. The average energy bill is now over £1000 per annum which for people on lower incomes is more of a challenge to afford. Rents have been rising, especially in London and the SE, because of a chronic shortage of residential rental properties.

    The average residential property price in London is now an eye watering £400,000. Even people on median incomes struggle to afford this.

    The Government have been criticised by both the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby and His Eminence, the Catholic Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, + Vincent Nichols. In the case of + Vin Nichols he’s obviously getting his information from Catholic Parishes and Charities on the ground who are dealing with people who are struggling.

  8. Thank you for the article, I shall be indexing you to YaCY (Google it if you like)

    Edwina Currie painting the truly desperate as freeloaders, wow. What made Edwina Currie sell her soul?

    The thing is though, I have noticed a change between my family and friends and my partners family and friends.

    They’re not believing the lies about immigration and benefits or even past government being responsible for situations like this.

    They didn’t blame the nurses when my father in law was in hospital without proper care, they blame the budget cuts imposed by this government.

    They are not blaming the school, when the sure start center closes down, they blame the people making that cut.

    Just as an example.

    My local sure start is closing down but the PIPCU was given £2.5 million of public money to pursue copyright infringement in the favour of a private monopoly.

    So we don’t have the money to ensure the future of our kids, but we do have the funds to serve elite media moguls via a police force that control a square mile of turf.

    Anyhow, I could go on, my English isn’t great. Guido you’re a paid shill, so please stop,

    Thank you for your time,


  9. @Guido: out of the many cruel changes your Tory friends have recently made to the benefits regime, the imposition of arbitrary sanctions on jobseekers is the most spiteful of all. Many people have their JSA stopped for a minimum of four weeks for the most trivial of infractions, such as turning up to sign on 30 minutes late. How are they supposed to eat without a penny of income if they have no savings or more likely are servicing debts? Please let me know as a Tory because I haven’t had a straight answer from one of them yet.

  10. frank mcdonnell says:

    Wasting your time. Tories and their supporters are incapable of showing any compassion to those less fortunate!

  11. Innocent people get their benifits stopped for no reason whilst drug addicts and people with drink issues get more. Society has gone crazy that’s all

  12. Drug addicts and people with drink issues get more….. get more of what.

    I can only assume you posted anonymously as your too dumb to write you own name cretin

  13. #labourfail says:

    aren’t sun readers benefit monkeys too?

    no wonder people vote conservative to keep these chav loving high welfare scorunger loving poofs out of power

  14. Where is all the “Hard working” taxpayers money going?………………….Oh…………………..that’s right, pompous little MP’s are giving it to their rich cronies and buying second homes with it……….WAKE UP.

  15. Peter Jewell says:

    I do a little bit of voluntary work with a foodbank in the ultimate of middle class towns. The need is real. Some people are actually starving. It may be down to their own bad management perhaps. But this is meant to be the equitable 21st C. We are meant to be progressing. The bad management cannot be solely the hungry. In times past even the local landowners had responsibility form the starving or they would not remain landowners. Why can’t we have a proper revolution. It’s over.

  16. I think its all both shocking and depressing in todays society and im not talking about the “big society”
    This Government is the most naive corrupt heartless bunch of low lifes to walk the planet then call themselves human beings!!!!

  17. Who is supposed to pay the increased benefits? If they cut the spongers, maybe those who really need it would get it. Some benefits people rake in more than my daugher, who works a forty hour week. Maybe she should have 6 kids too. There’s also a lot of food bank users who can afford to smoke 20 a day and have an iphone. It’s really not as simple as some make out. When I was first married, I had to put food back at the till as I couldn’t afford it, but we never went hungry because I wasn’t stupid.

  18. True yes. Too many people working all hours to pay for people who don’t, just pop out too many kids. Why should they pay more and more of their wages, specially when many on benefits are better off than they are! I can barely pay for my flat, but a guy I know on benefits has a three bed semi, smokes, and drives a better car. I say go tories, I’m sick of it.

  19. @Peter Jewel. No one here is starving, or needs to. I brought up my kids fine. We ate lots of pasta and rice maybe but we never starved, nor does anyone need to. It’s time some people stopped sponging off the hard work of others who get no help at all. Have a child or two, with no job, no partner, then demand a house and money. I had a day off work the other day and the town was filled with benefit mothers smoking and buying Macdonalds. Wish I had the spare cash. The tories are at least trying to do something to let people know they have to take responsibility for their own lives.

  20. N e one see the prog. the other night about council houses in London. That woman complaining she needed more money. ‘My Sky tv needs paying next week.’ she said. Benefits guy says ‘You’re paying for Sky tv?’ ‘Yeah,’ she says, ‘who isn’t?’ Well the benefit guy laughed but she didn’t see the joke. And no, I can’t afford Sky either but it’s nice to know my wages are helping to pay for hers. She had four kids I think with another on the way. Why?

  21. david pearce says:

    yee ha so I’m a lazy lie about scrounger? Living the life of Riley? Eating Fortnums caviar? 8 years on ESA after loosing a job as a nurse (ooh look another scrounger cos he was paid by the state) due to chronic ill health. Now I am forced to live on ESA attend the job center regularly where I get told I have to apply for jobs that ATOS has even said I may only be able to do at some time in the future. So all you judgemental people get off your fracking high horses. How will you feel if you have an accident or fall ill and loose your job, will you be a scrounger and a lazy lie about??? FFS some people

  22. Yeah because everyone on benefits are scroungers are they? Me and my wife are currently in receipt of ESA. I used to be a small business owner but lost it all because of massive price hikes on rent, utilities and tax. My wife was a successful sales woman for EE but had to stop working due to ill health. I spent 3 hours a day 7 days a week applying for jobs, but because of unknown reasons I have yet to recieve any work. Probably because most of the work adds are fake. So don’t sit there and think your better than me, your not and nor will you ever be. I hope you find yourself in my position very soon. And most claimants are genuine there is only a handful that aren’t.

  23. Stephen taylor says:

    What proportion of the Welfare Budget is used to prop up businesses which refuse to pay a living wage and to line the pockets of private landlords?
    Increase the minimum wage to a living wage now and build social housing.
    If a business can’t afford to pay a living wage to it’s workers there’s something seriously wrong with it’s business plan.

  24. @enda

    What? This ‘Sponger rakes’ in more than your daughter??!

    “Burn The Witch!”…….”Burn The Witch!”


  25. kittysjones says:

    People on benefits have largely paid taxes too. And still pay VAT and council tax. There’s no such discrete class of citizen as the “taxpayer”, it’s a fiction invented by a divide and control government to divert your attention away from the real frauds. EVERYONE pays tax, except a high proportion of the very wealthy and greedy. Millionaires had a tax break last year of £107,000 EACH per year and I don’t hear anyone here bleating about their hard earned cash funding that, but it HAS. You prefer instead to complain that the poorest get something to ensure they don’t starve, freeze and become destitute – which is what benefits are for.

    Unemployment, sickness and accident/disability can happen to anyone. Any time. Do we have to sell our iphones and TVs we bought whilst working just so the spiteful and mean spirited here are happy that we are sufficiently miserable and impoverished to “deserve” basic lifeline benefits that we PAID for too?

    Benefit fraud stands at 0.6% and some of that includes mistakes made by the DWP. Get a grip.

    Here is one reason why food bank use is rising, But worth bearing in mind 60% of the users are in low paid work – http://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/punishing-poverty-a-review-of-benefits-sanctions-and-their-impacts-on-clients-and-claimants/

    The cuts are hitting the poorest most of all – http://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/briefing-on-how-cuts-are-targeted-dr-simon-duffy/

    And this government need to go – http://kittysjones.wordpress.com/2013/05/05/1993/

  26. As a hardworking taxpayer who doesn’t earn a lot, I do not begrudge my money going to help those less well off. I don’t care if some on benefits might be seen as lazy or recklass I still don’t want to see them starve and chucked on the street. I do object to pubic money being spent on mps expenses. We are supposed to be living in a well off country. Yet most money is in the hands of a few who do nothing and make more by taking from those at the bottom. Why moan about a minority on benefits who are lazy when those in power are fleecing us all. It appears that empathy is lacking in some of the population in this country, although those complaining about scroungers would be the first to want help if they were in a difficult situation.

  27. @Senua. I’m happy for my tax to go to help those REALLY in need. Sadly, many don’t get the help because of the scroungers who seem to think its fine to bring in more a week in benefits than many people earn who help to pay for that. They need kicking up the butt. If you cant afford five kids, dont have them, for one thing. We shouldnt be paying people with iphones, sky tv and who smoke, to live in central london while we sit in little rented flats handing over our wages. I dont think we should pay mps expenses either. thats wrong, too, no one said there was one thing wrong and the other fine. ALL the wrong things need dealing with.

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