Government is 'working hard to address root causes of food banks', Northampton North MP says

The Chronicle & Echo featured the story of Emmanuel Food Bank on it's front page this week.
The Chronicle & Echo featured the story of Emmanuel Food Bank on it's front page this week.

As one food bank has seen its' users triple in over a year the MP for Northampton North has said 'our Universal Credit policy is helping people into work faster than before'.

In this week's edition of the Northampton Chronicle & Echo this newspaper highlighted how food bank demand has tripled at Weston Favell Centre Food Bank at Emmanuel Church in Weston Favell.

MP for Northampton North Michael Ellis.

MP for Northampton North Michael Ellis.

In 2017 four tonnes of food was handed out, almost three times less than the 11 tonnes needed to feed those who were living on the breadline in 2018.

In 2018, 1,076 food parcels were handed out by Weston Favell Centre Food Bank at Emmanuel Church, in Weston Favell, to people in the Eastern District of Northampton. These parcels, on average, would have fed a family of three, which is 3,228 people for three days at a time.

The MP for Northampton North Michael Ellis said: "With regards to food banks, the Government has worked hard to address the complex root causes of food banks, not just the symptoms.

"This Government is taking action on numerous fronts in order to help those people who need it.

"Household incomes have never been higher, the number of children living in work less households is now at a record low, and our Universal Credit policy is helping people into work faster than before. There are also 1 million fewer people living in absolute poverty – a record low. The policies of this Government have contributed greatly to increasing equality in this country."

In Northampton North he said there has been a decrease of 51 per cent in the amount of people claiming benefits compared to before the Tories were in office in 2010.

Mr Ellis said: "It is also important to consider the complex root causes of poverty," he added. "We know that the best route out of poverty is a job and I am pleased that there are 828,000 fewer work less households as well as 3.3 million more jobs now when compared to 2010.

"We have introduced the National Living Wage which has given 1.7 million of the lowest paid a pay rise as well as cutting income tax by raising the income tax threshold to £11,850. This has given a tax cut to 31 million people and has taken 4 million of the lowest earners out of having to pay income tax altogether.

"We are also ensuring that there is a strong safety net for those who need extra support through the welfare system: 28 per cent of all public spending is spent on welfare."