1) Number of foodbanks in UK reached 1,000+
The number of foodbanks in the UK has exceeded 1,000 as more people are forced to rely on food aid to deal with the rising cost of living against cuts to pay and benefits.
The Trussell Trust estimate that 1million people will use food banks this year, and state that welfare cuts and delays to payments are one of the main reasons for growing reliance. The Trust have now even begun to create parcels for those unable to afford to heat up their dinner with a cooker or hob, called “kettle boxes,” driving home the ‘heat or eat’ choice many families are having to make up and down the country.
2) UK benefits “manifestly inadequate,” say Council of Europe
UK pensions, jobseeker’s allowance and incapacity benefits are “manifestly inadequate” according to the Council of Europe, because they fall below 40% of the median income of European states. The Council, based in Strasbourg, revealed the findings following the annual review of UK adherence to the European social charter.
Iain Duncan Smith dismissed the findings as ‘lunacy,’ insisting “government has made great strides in fixing the welfare system so that spending is brought under control.”
The news is likely to spark fresh controversy between the government and European commitments.
3) Bedroom tax pushing councils to financial crisis
Councils have warned they are facing financial crisis due to the number of people needing help because of the bedroom tax.
A survey found that over 200,000 people applied for extra help and hardship funds in the six months following the introduction of the controversial tax in April last year.
Four out of five councils have seen rises in the number of people needing Discretionary Housing Benefits, and councils have warned that the need for these payments outstrip the amount given to councils by the government.
4) Rufus Hound announces he will stand in MEP elections for National Health Action Party, bringing attention to the privatisation of the NHS
On the Jonathan Ross show, comedian Rufus Hound announced he would stand at the next European elections as an MEP in a campaign that aims to bring attention to and stop the privatisation of the National Health Service.
The comedian penned a blog post entitled ‘Cameron wants your kids to die unless you’re rich‘ which sparked media controversy, but worked in bringing the subject to the limelight, as Rufus pointed out the real risks of losing our NHS.
Hound told Jonathon Ross;
“I don’t want to run as an MEP, I really don’t. I want to dick about with this man (Robert Lindsay) because that’s a lot more fun.
“But I’m looking around for who is stepping forward and telling people about it and nobody is.”
by Kam Sandhu – @KamBass