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Ministers’ Plan To Research Effect Of Policies On Food Bank Use

August 3, 2018

Ministers have secretly drawn up plans to investigate whether the government’s own policies are to blame for the sharp rise in the use of food banks, the Guardian has learned.

Two of the most senior officials at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) have been tasked with overseeing the study, according to a draft proposal, which is marked: “Official – Sensitive”.

The four-page document, dated June 2018, says a key objective of the proposed research is “to identify any areas of DWP policy or operational practice that may have contributed to a rise in demand for food bank services”.

Some of those who will be asked to contribute to the research will be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.

The use of food banks has become a toxic issue over the last five years, with Tory ministers consistently refusing to accept that austerity-driven welfare reforms, including the introduction of universal credit, may be directly responsible for the huge increase in people needing emergency help.

The Labour MP Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions select committee, said he hoped the proposed research was “a welcome sign that the government is going to look again at universal credit”.

“This is a problem of the government’s own making. If this research gives the government a chance to get off this self-imposed hook, then it’s a good thing. But God help people in the meantime.”

The blueprint for the study is set out in the leaked document, which is titled: “Update on commissioning food banks research.” It explains that the report will cost £217,000 – and that funding “has now been approved”.

It says the year-long project aims to find out how many people are being forced to seek emergency food aid and why.

The study, due to be published in October next year, will rely on a survey of 600 food bank managers and 500 food bank users, as well as in-depth interviews with a much smaller number of people who regularly use the service.

Under the heading “Factors driving the use of food banks”, the document describes seven objectives. As well as assessing the role of DWP policies, it says the research should look at “how far economic factors have influenced the use of food banks”.

The blueprint also acknowledges the risks in undertaking the research, including “negative results”.

Food banks provide help for families and individuals who are in financial hardship and are provided by organisations such as the Trussell Trust.

Since the financial crisis the number of food banks in the UK has grown rapidly. The Trussell Trust said its 400-strong network gave out a record 1.3m food parcels to an estimated 666,000 people in 2017-18, up 13% on the previous year.

Many of those on the front line have said that government policies are behind the rise, particularly the move to universal credit, which replaces a range of benefits with one payment.

The Trussell Trust said that in areas where universal credit had been in place for 12 months or more, food banks were four times as busy as elsewhere, as long waits for payments and administrative problems forced people to seek help.

Last year a study by Oxford University academics warned that benefit freezes and welfare changes such as universal credit and cuts to disability payments were likely to drive up food bank use in future years.

However, the government has been reluctant to accept this, insisting there is no proven link.

The DWP study could completely undermine this position because the questions researchers intend to ask include some focusing on the impact of the transition to universal credit, and whether this has been “a driver of food bank usage”.

Another question states: “To what extent does the administration of benefits … contribute to food bank usage?”

Field, a former Labour minister in charge of welfare reform, said: “The government knows perfectly well there have been real cuts in benefits that have particularly hit families with children and this has led to hardship and destitution. I hope this is a sign that the secretary of state is having a change of heart.”

Stella Creasy, the MP for Walthamstow, an area she says has been hit particularly hard by the rollout of universal credit, was highly critical of the DWP’s position.

“Four or five years after so many of us have raised concerns, they are finally doing some research that they don’t want anyone to know about.

“Frankly, it’s just not good enough. They should be researching their own culpability in pushing people into destitution, setting rules that are impossible to follow.

“For years the government has been holding to a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ strategy. If they are now recognising they are a cause of the problem, the question is, what are they going to do about it? They should stop universal credit for a start.”

A DWP spokesperson said: “As we have said previously, we are currently reviewing research carried out by organisations to add to our understanding of food bank use and will consider further research to add to our evidence base, to ensure we’re providing the best possible support for vulnerable groups.”

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Justin permalink
    August 3, 2018 1:34 pm

    until they find that if they don’t attempt to water down the report it tells the dwp the blatantly obvious truth that it is your policies, your inaccurate medicals carried out by companies that could not care less unless they get paid and then ester mcvey will come olong standing by the banks of sunny Nottingham and say ” people don’t use food banks and our policies are working well “

  2. August 3, 2018 7:43 pm

    “Ministers have secretly drawn up plans to investigate whether the government’s own policies are to blame for the sharp rise in the use of food banks”

    They are also going to “investigate” where Bears Sh*t…
    A few people claim that it is – “in the woods” – despite government insistence that complete sanitation is provided.

    How come – The Guardian – isn’t just vomiting over this pile of BS? (Fake News)

    “Some of those who will be asked to contribute to the research will be asked to sign non-disclosure agreements.”

    Cover-up before they even start.

    You can only get food from a foodbank –
    1. If you are ABLE to get to a foodbank.
    2. Have a ‘food voucher’.
    You can only get ‘food vouchers’ from STILL not in prison yet criminal filth like (here) jobcentre criminals / council criminals / citizens advice criminals.

    How come – The Guardian – isn’t pointing out that bulls**tting hate criminal Frank Field MP is Chair of the Commons Work and Pensions Committee…
    Why won’t Fake News – The Guardian – just ask the nonce it why it won’t DO IT’S JOB?

    “the report will cost £217,000”


    Starvation IS Torture –
    List of methods of torture

    Criminal Justice Act 1988 – Torture

    Human Rights Act 1998

    UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

    UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Articles

  3. August 4, 2018 10:18 pm

    FYI –

    Two of Fester McViles’ chief hate criminal rats have deserted the DWP –

    Robert Devereux – Permanent Secretary for the DWP –
    (did a runner in January)

    and –

    Andrew Rhodes – Director General, Operations, DWP –
    (“In April 2018, Rhodes resigned from the Civil Service”)

    Neither of those two hate criminals are in prison yet –

    Torturing Attempted Murdering Vulnerable Adult Abusing Hate Criminal nonce Fraudster Andrew Rhodes, who Bribes and Abets Local Councils to Intimidate and Defraud victims of it’s hate crimes is now hiding out at – Swansea University.

    Swansea University hires new Registrar & Chief Operating Officer

    ” that’s what we wrap around our students”
    Yeah. I’ll bet that Abusing Hate Criminal vermin just can’t wait to wrap itself around 18 year-olds…

    “(what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger)”
    Well that filth knows all about killing.

    If it’s DWP Gang has also committed hate crimes against you then you could, also, tell some of the lowlife at Swansea University what you think of their employment of hate criminal fraudsters policy –

    Professor Richard B Davies Vice-Chancellor

    Professor Steve Wilks – Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience)

    Rob Brelsford-Smith – Director of Finance

    Student Union –
    President – Gwyn Rennolf
    Welfare Officer – Grace Hannaford

    Oh… and just have a guess which gang of Course of Justice Perverting bent cops cover Swansea University. –

    Yup – South Wales Police Criminals.




    Fester McViles’ New chief hate criminal rats are –

    Peter Schofield – DWP permanent secretary –
    (since – 16 January 2018)

    and –

    Ms Susan Park – Director General of Operations
    (from – April 2018)

    Here are some of the Bribes (over £25,000) that those new DWP hate criminals are responsible for (Along with Fester) –


    March 2018 –

    CITIZENS ADVICE,10003523,”105,984.00″,”105,984.00″,CA(NI)_Q3_2017-18,”£105,984″,,5415600000,10382142,costs

    CITIZENS ADVICE,10003522,”98,477.00″,”98,477.00″,CA(NI)_Q4_2017-18,”£98,477″,,5415600000,10382142,costs

    April 2017 –



    PROG,CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU,1009567,”£2,066,173″,GRANT


    The Bribery Act 2010 –

    Misconduct in Public Office –

    Perverting The Course of Justice –

    Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 –
    Corrupt or other improper exercise of police powers and privileges –

    Impersonating a Police Officer -Police Act 1996 –
    90 Impersonation, etc –

    Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 –
    Witness Intimidation –

    Theft Act 1968 – Section 21 – Blackmail

    Theft Act 1968 –

    Conspiracy to Defraud –

    Fraud Act 2006 –

    Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981 –

    Courts Act 2003 –
    Jurisdiction to issue summons and deal with complaints –

    Assisting an Offender – section 4(1) Criminal Law Act 1967 –

    Concealing an Arrestable Offence: s.5 Criminal Law Act 1967 –

    Serious Crime Act 2007 – Encouraging or Assisting Crime –

    Serious Crime Act 2007 –
    45 Offence of participating in activities of organised crime group –

    Accessories and Abettors Act 1861 –

    Criminal Attempts Act 1981 –


    Homicide: Murder and Manslaughter –

    Protection from Harassment Act 1997

    Equality Act 2010
    Especially sections 26. Harassment. and 27. Victimisation.

    Human Rights Act 1998

    Abuse of Vulnerable Adults –

    Care Act 2014 –
    Safeguarding adults at risk of abuse or neglect –

    Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015 –
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care worker offence –
    Ill-treatment or wilful neglect: care provider offence –

    Disability Hate Crime – Criminal Justice Act 2003 (section 146) –
    Increase in sentences for aggravation related to disability –

    UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities – Articles

    Criminal Justice Act 1988 – Torture

    UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment


  1. Ministers’ Plan To Research Effect Of Policies On Food Bank Use — Same Difference | sdbast

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