December 20, 2012

What are food banks telling us? Less than MPs think

Laura Sandys says food banks show it's time for the food industry "to recognise its wider responsibility to society".

There should be a public information campaign to debunk "the age-old myth that healthy food is more expensive than high-calorie, high-carb food".

Labour MPs have also been raising questions at PMQs about fuel poverty. One reason for the rise in fuel prices is deliberate government policy on renewables and "carbon" smugly supported by MPs of all parties.

(Bishop Hill tells us Laura Sandys is one of those Tory MPs who wants more "renewables" - i.e. higher energy prices.)

We need a breakdown of the budgets of some of the families using food banks. The cost of food is not necessarily the problem. They spend money on other things too. Prices rise in other areas.

There's nowhere they can go for cheap electricity (thanks, MPs), but they can go to food banks and get free food. So using food banks helps make the family budget go further, but it doesn't follow that the cost of food caused the budget problem in the first place.

So can we have a modicum of analysis, please, rather than an immediate recourse to woe-is-us rhetoric.

And let lawgivers realise that it's partly their fault.

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