Neath MP Peter Hain has backed calls by Church Action on Poverty and Oxfam to launch an enquiry into the escalating poverty in Britain due to what they have described as the ‘massive cuts to social safety nets that have led to destitution, hardship and hunger on a large scale’ in the UK.
According to a new joint report released by the two charities, more than half a million people in Britain are now relying on food banks to eat.
Mr Hain says, ‘Welfare cuts have hit Neath harder than most other communities in the UK, with cuts to welfare costing the local economy £30 million, which equates to £700 per working adult in Neath.’
Continuing, Mr Hain says, ‘Neath Port Talbot’s high incapacity benefit and DLA claimant count is a legacy of the industries like coal and steel which our communities grew around and that provided employment for so many at such a cost to people’s health.’
‘It is these most vulnerable people in our communities who are now forced to turn to food banks in order to feed themselves and their families.’
A consistently outspoken critic of the welfare cuts imposed on local people by the Government, Mr Hain concludes that ‘I for one would welcome an enquiry into the welfare cuts that have caused widespread hunger and destitution in our country.’