Birkenhead MP attacks Government indifference to 'rising tide' of hunger in Britain (From Wirral Globe)
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Birkenhead MP attacks Government indifference to 'rising tide' of hunger in Britain
Birkenhead MP Frank Field has blasted Government complacency over Britain’s “rising tide” of hungry people.
It follows the failure of the coalition to publish findings of a Government report on food banks, commissioned a year ago.
Despite pressure from MPs in the House of Commons, Owen Paterson, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, was unable to indicate when the report would be released.
The minister’s failure to answer the question prompted Mr Field to warn of “complacency about the rising tide of numbers of hungry people in Britain.”
He called on the Government to publish the report immediately and accompany it with an action programme to alleviate hunger in this country.
Mr Field recently tabled a Commons Motion with the support of 72 MPs calling for the report to be published.
Earlier this month, the Birkenhead MP criticised the coalition for rejecting more than £200m of funding that could have been used to boost food aid in Britain.
House of Commons Library figures, obtained by Mr Field, indicated Britain would have been entitled to at least £203m from the "Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived" between now and 2020.
He wrote directly to the Prime Minister querying his decision to reject the funding.
He said the extra cash could have enabled food banks and other food aid providers to work wonders with the most vulnerable people in society.
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said that if the funding had been accepted it would be taken off the government’s structural fund budget that helps disadvantaged people into work.
He said: “We are not saying no to this money but we are saying no to Europe about how it should be spent.”