While our local MP, Tim Loughton, is right to compliment some of the good work done by benefits office staff and their partner agencies, facts have arisen in the last few weeks which appear to contradict Mr Loughton’s suggestion that the experience of Universal Credit has been much less problematic locally than it has nationally.
Statistics released by Worthing Foodbank have shown a very significant rise in the number of local people using the food bank.
In the 12 months up to March last year, the foodbank fed 1,590 people in crisis a three-day food supply. That’s 14,310 meals.
This year already the number is 1,655 people and the foodbank predicts that it will probably be nearer 2,000 people.
They report that since the introduction of Universal Credit they have seen a sustained increase in their food bank use.
On the back of nine years of harsh austerity, the introduction of Universal Credit has pushed an increasing number of local families to breaking point.
The work of our excellent local foodbank simply highlights this.
Cllr Lavinia O’Connor
Labour member for Southlands, Adur District Council,
Sussex Wharf, Shoreham Beach
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