Rise in foodbanks a result of Government’s callous agenda of austerity

Reliance on foodbanks in Haringey has risen over the last year, analysis of data obtained from the Trussell Trust shows. The number of three-day emergency food parcels distributed in Haringey rose by 124%. Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said dependence on foodbanks was the result of the Government’s “callous agenda of austerity” and its “sheer disregard” for vulnerable people in Haringey.

Data from the Trussell Trust shows that between April 2017 and March 2018, the charity distributed 4,408 three-day emergency food parcels in Haringey.

1,512 of these were provided specifically for children.

Across London, 134,244 parcels were given out over the same period, marking a 21% increase on the previous year. Last month, the Mayor launched his draft London Food Strategy and pledged to work closely with local authorities to prevent Londoners from being swept into food poverty.

The Trussell Trust have cited the top four drivers behind foodbank usage as ‘low income- benefits, not earning’, ‘benefit delay’, ‘benefit change’ and ‘debt’. Other reasons include homelessness, ill-health and domestic abuse.

A Trussell Trust report has identified the roll out of Universal Credit as a key factor in the increased reliance on foodbanks, honing in on the experience of claimants who have been left to struggle when waiting several weeks for their first payment. This analysis was backed up by a new Joseph Rowntree Foundation report which cited the roll out as a significant contributor to destitution.

Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM said:

“We live in one of the world’s wealthiest countries with a welfare state that is supposed to protect people from destitution. It is shameful that an increasing number of people are forced to rely on foodbanks.

“This rise in foodbank use is a direct result of the Government’s callous agenda of austerity and its sheer disregard for vulnerable people in Haringey.

“Worryingly, growing inequality and poverty is seeing independent foodbanks popping up across the capital to meet increasing demand.

“The Government should waste no time in doing all that it can to reverse this crisis blighting local families.”

Enfield and Haringey in Top 5 Areas for Homelessness in England

Responding to today’s report from Shelter which found that more than 300,000 people in Britain are homeless, with Haringey ranked second and Enfield ranked fourth in the worst 20 boroughs in England, Local London Assembly Member, Joanne McCartney AM, said:

“Recently the National Audit Office warned that government welfare policies are directly contributing to the homelessness crisis. These appalling figures show that the Government has wilfully turned its back on those who’ve had the misfortune to find themselves homeless.

“With both Haringey and Enfield needing 3834 new homes a year to meet local need – and London in desperate need of more genuinely affordable homes – the Government cannot miss the opportunity at this year’s budget to hand the Mayor the funding to make this happen.

“Right now we’ve got a Prime Minister who has prioritised pumping £10 billion into Help to Buy, inflating house prices in the process, rather than committing the funding to build hundreds of thousands of much needed social houses. The need to pave the way for longer tenancies doesn’t even appear to be on the Government’s radar and they chose capping benefits over capping rent increases.

“The Mayor has pledged £9 million a year to tackle rough sleeping, but this must be matched by determined action from the Government to tackle the chronic shortage of affordable housing and abandon their punitive welfare cuts and caps.

“We know so much about the causes of homelessness, but if we don’t start applying the solutions this picture in places like Haringey and Enfield it is only going to become even more bleak.”

Comment on patients being turned away from North Middlesex University Hospital A&E Department

Responding to news that patients were turned away from North Middlesex University Hospital Accident and Emergency Department unless they had a “life-threatening illness”, Labour London Assembly Member for Enfield and Haringey, Joanne McCartney AM said:
Continue reading “Comment on patients being turned away from North Middlesex University Hospital A&E Department”

Violent crime in Enfield and Haringey rises in the last year

Violent crime in Enfield has risen by 28% and by 42% in Haringey over the last year according to figures published by Metropolitan Police. The rise means an additional 1,267 violent crimes in Enfield over the last twelve months rising from 4,518 in 2012/13 to 5,785 in 2013/14 and in Haringey, an additional 1,840 violent crimes were recorded over the last twelve months rising from 4,379 to 6,219.

Continue reading “Violent crime in Enfield and Haringey rises in the last year”