When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Iain Duncan Smith refuses to meet foodbank bosses
3:52pm Monday 23rd December 2013 in News
A FOODBANK charity which helps out hundreds of people in East Lancashire has been accused of ‘scaremongering’ by the Work and Pension Secretary.
Iain Duncan Smith, who has introduced the bedroom tax and other welfare reforms, has refused to meet bosses at the Trussell Trust, which runs food banks in Blackburn and Clitheroe.
And in a letter to trust chairman Chris Mould, he said he object to the ‘politicial messaging of your organisation’, as demand for food bank services soar following welfare cuts.
Mr Duncan Smith added: “I strongly refute this claim and would politely ask you to stop scaremongering in this way.”
Lord Freud, the minister for welfare reform, also turned down a request for talks.
Mr Mould said: “We are deeply disappointed, but we are as open as ever to meet ministers in the hope that perhaps the New Year will bring a fresh approach to what could so easily have been a fruitful dialogue.”
A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman claimed there was ‘no robust evidence’ linking welfare reform to increased use of foodbanks, adding: “Our welfare reforms will improve the lives of some of the poorest families in our communities with the universal credit making 3million households better off – the majority of these from the bottom two-fifths of the income scale.”
The DWP official said it was ‘not surprising’ more people were using foodbanks, if the trust was opening more.
Comments are closed on this article.