Hungry children, homeless people in Theresa May’s Britain


This video says about itself:

25 April 2017

Up to three million British children risk going hungry during the school holidays because they don’t have access to free school meals, or are living in poverty.

That’s the findings of a new report by a panel of cross-party MPs, who say the problem can be solved.

They’re calling on the Government to direct money – raised by its sugary drinks tax — to fund local councils to help end the problem.

Sky’s Tom Parmenter has this special report.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Welfare: Parents ‘skipping meals’ to keep children fed, new investigation finds

PARENTS are skipping meals because they cannot afford to buy food for their whole family, according to a new report revealing shocking levels of “hidden hunger.”

More than one in 10 adults do not have enough money to buy food, rising to almost one in four parents with children under the age of 18, a survey of more than 2,000 people by End Hunger UK showed.

About one in 12 people polled by the coalition of anti food-poverty charities said they had gone without food for a whole day because of lack of money in the past year.

Four out of five adults believe the government should monitor how many people live with food insecurity.

A private member’s Bill introduced by Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck, which is due to undergo its second reading in Parliament on Friday, calls on ministers to compile an annual report on food insecurity soon after the Office for National Statistics’ annual Living Costs and Food Survey data is published.

Laura Sandys, founder of the Food Foundation, one of the charities in the coalition, said: “The research shows that more and more British families are unable to provide regular meals and are frequently anxious about providing the basics: food on the table for their families.”

The former Thanet South Tory MP admitted: “Not only is this unacceptable in 21st-century Britain, but we have to start counting the health and social consequences for the next generation.

“We know that food insecurity can trigger a range of unhealthy eating habits and force people to buy cheaper, less nutritious and more calorific food.”

Ms Lewell-Buck said food insecurity must be measured as the record number of emergency foodbank parcels given out by the Trussell Trust alone — 1.1 million — is “clearly the tip of the iceberg.”

The UN estimates that more than eight million people in Britain are living with food insecurity, she said.

This 12 November 2017 video is called 300,000 Homeless in UK as thousands sleep in vans in Bristol.

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain:

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Rough-sleeping rise ‘linked to benefits’

Increasing homelessness down to Tory policies, say academics

RISING homelessness can almost entirely be accounted for by private-sector tenants being evicted because of benefit reforms and the housing market, academics said yesterday.

The number of people officially recorded as sleeping on the streets of England rose from 1,768 when the Tories took over in 2010 to 4,751 in 2017, according to the Ministry of Housing — though charities say the true figure is more than double that.

It is the highest number since comparable records began in 2010.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, Mark Fransham and Danny Dorling of the University of Oxford warn of the serious health implications of sleeping rough, including respiratory conditions, depression, anxiety, accidents, shorter life-span and excess winter mortality.

The rise in rough-sleeping runs parallel to an increase in homeless families housed by councils in temporary accommodation over the seven years, from 50,000 to 78,000, they wrote.

In London alone, there are an estimated 225,000 “hidden homeless” people aged 16-25, who are sofa-surfing and being put up on a temporary basis by friends or family.

Likely causes for the huge hike in homelessness include high rents and reduced availability of affordable social housing since the early 1980s, they said.

Reduced funding for supporting vulnerable people with housing — cut by 59 per cent in real terms since 2010 — and restrictions on housing benefit for poorer families have also contributed, the pair said.

“What is needed is a comprehensive strategy that improves services for vulnerable people, an increased supply of affordable housing, more security of tenancies, adequate cash benefits to cover the rising cost of housing and more efficient use of our existing housing stock,” they wrote.

They described several initiatives, such the “housing first” model, which provides a secure tenancy for rough-sleepers before associated issues like substance misuse and ill-health are addressed.

This approach is found in Finland, the only European country where homelessness has recently fallen, they said.

It is now being piloted in Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham, with estimated potential savings of up to £5 million a year.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn announced on Sunday that a Labour government would immediately buy 8,000 properties to house rough sleepers.

The party would also give local authorities the power to seize properties that had been deliberately left vacant, he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show.

Evicting firefighters from their ‘tied homes’ puts lives at risk. Tory cuts could force Derbyshire firefighters to face homelessness : here.

For the seventh consecutive year, rough sleeping in the UK is on the rise, according to recently published government figures. An estimated 4,751 people were sleeping out on the streets of England for the year 2017. This represents an increase of 15 percent on the previous year and 169 percent since 2010. The actual figure is estimated by some to be almost double that, possibly as high as 9,100 for the UK: here.

A million more UK children in poverty than in 2010 – study. About 3.1 million children of working parents now below breadline after government’s benefit cuts, according to TUC: here.

More children going hungry over school holidays, say teachers: here.

THERE is a huge increase in the number of teenagers going hungry during the summer holidays, a National Education Union (NEU) poll finds today. A snapshot survey of 657 secondary teachers by the NEU shows the growing concern amongst teachers that young people are not getting enough food to eat over the summer holidays: here.

MORE than 123,000 children and their families have spent their school holiday homeless, an increase of around 53,000 since the summer holidays of 2011, councils revealed on Saturday: here.

A SHOCKING study carried out by the GMB union released yesterday showed that almost one in ten school staff bring in their own food to feed kids who would otherwise go hungry. The GMB conducted a survey of thousands of school support staff across the country and found that eight per cent of them felt they had to spend their own money on food for children who simply did not get enough to eat at home. Over half the staff surveyed reported spending their own money to provide other essentials for pupils including tampons, pens, pencils, books, toilet paper and toys. The GMB also uncovered confirmation from a Department for Education analysis that up to 2.6 million children could lose their right to free school meals by 2022 under government changes to eligibility under the Universal Credit system. When the system was first introduced in 2013, all children with parents on benefits were eligible for free school meals: here.

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