Food: Food Banks — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:36 pm on 2nd July 2013.

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Photo of Lord McKenzie of Luton Lord McKenzie of Luton Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government) 2:36 pm, 2nd July 2013

My Lords, April this year saw the demise of the discretionary Social Fund and the passing of responsibilities to local authorities. We know that funding for local authorities was not ring-fenced and we learnt last week of a further 10% cut in their budgets. Does the Minister not accept that this, taken together with harsher benefit sanctions regimes and a longer wait for benefits, will mean that the use of food banks will only increase? Despite what he said, is it not a fact that under this Government food banks are looking to be a permanent part of the welfare provision of this country?