Coventry Tory Brands Food Bank Users “Selfish”
In 2013-14 almost a million people in the UK were supported by food banks, over 17,000 of them in Coventry. The majority of people using food banks had been affected by benefit cuts or sanctions imposed due to Government austerity measures. Despite the numbers of people forced to rely on food banks, at a recent Coventry Council meeting, Tory councillor Julia Lepoidevin claimed that some food bank users in Coventry are “selfish” and choose to spend money on drugs or alcohol rather than food.
However, when 50 Coventry people a day are being referred to food banks, there are clearly issues other than addiction causing people to go hungry. Labour cllrs angrily heckled Cllr Lepoidevin’s remarks – however, the welfare policies advocated by Labour leader Ed Miliband, such as cutting benefits for under-21s and an overall commitment to stick with Tory spending plans, would lead to far more people relying on charities for food. Coventry used to be a city renowned for its car factories – now we’re renowned for our food banks. People across the country are being left to starve as a result of austerity policies – we need to organise to fight for decent jobs and homes for all.