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