'People should live not exist' Warrington food bank chief slams costs 'this is not living'


Warrington foodbank chief David McDonald has decried the growing need for support for struggling families across the United Kingdom amid a spirally cost of living crisis. Mr McDonald argued that people should be able to afford to buy their food from the supermarket rather than rely on handouts. 

Mr McDonald told Sky News: “Food banks have grown, over the last 10 years there are now 13,106 food banks throughout the UK.

“Far more food banks now than there are McDonald’s restaurants and that is a staggering statistic that should never really be there.

“People should be able to afford to buy their food from the supermarket, where it was intended not to come to us where we give them tin food, packet food, non-perishable items of food.

“We don’t give them fresh meat, we don’t give them fresh bread, we don’t give them milk only UHT milk. This isn’t living.”

 

It comes as economists warned households “will be getting poorer” over the coming months even with further financial support to freeze Britons’ energy bills. 

Economists and experts told ministers at the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee that sharp energy price rises mean the UK will struggle to avoid a recession, irrespective of action from a new Government.

It came as Liz Truss was set to be appointed as the next prime minister by the Queen at Balmoral.

Ms Truss and her new Chancellor, widely expected to be Kwasi Kwarteng, are reported to be planning a freeze in bills which could cost around £100 billion.

However, Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said millions of households will still face a tough winter.

“Even with the big policy announcement this week, households will be getting poorer,” he said.

“They don’t have lots of non-essential spending and luxuries they can cut to pay their energy bills and that context is really worrying.

“Thousands of people will have their energy cut off this winter.”

The economist stressed that the situation will be particularly tough for people on pre-payment meters, as they may not be able to build arrears.

The Bank of England has warned that inflation is set to soar to more than 13% this year and average annual energy bills had been expected to jump by 80% in October from £1,971 to £3,549 without further action.

Clare Moriarty, chief executive of Citizens Advice, stressed to MPs that her advisers are “already seeing a cost-of-living crisis” in communities across the UK, irrespective of whether households face soaring bills in October.

She said: “We estimate that at least one in five people won’t be able to pay energy bills in October if nothing is done.

“We hear the messages about support packages, but right here on the ground we are already seeing very large numbers of people who simply cannot keep lights on and food on the table.”

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“They don’t have lots of non-essential spending and luxuries they can cut to pay their energy bills and that context is really worrying.

“Thousands of people will have their energy cut off this winter.”

The economist stressed that the situation will be particularly tough for people on pre-payment meters, as they may not be able to build arrears.

Other customers are likely to build up “very large arrears” which could damage their credit ratings and have a long-term impact to their financial wellbeing.



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