Dependence of British households on food banks rising: Study
If a change of approach is not taken any time soon, there will be "nowhere for people to turn," IFAN coordinator Sabine Goodwin warns.
A new study conducted by Britain's Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) found that 90% of the 154 surveyed food banks have reported a noticeable increase in demand over the past two months, in comparison to 2021.
According to the results, about half of the 85 organizations that operate the 154 food banks surveyed in the study said they would have to either cut down on support or turn a number of households away if demand kept increasing.
This comes amid the peculiar fact that inflation has been falling over the past three months, yet, the number remains in double digits and at its highest levels in the past four decades.
IFAN coordinator Sabine Goodwin told The Guardian that "it’s very clear that people have been trying to muddle through the winter on credit and are now building up debts that will push people over the edge," while blaming the government of "unsustainable and unethical" reliance on charitable food aid.
If a change of approach is not taken any time soon, there will be "nowhere for people to turn," Goodwin warned.
Judith Vickers from the Lifeshare food bank in Manchester likewise told The Guardian that staffers "are reporting burnout, heavy caseloads, and a constant stream of new referrals," adding that they were "coping, but the level of demand is relentless. Volunteers often feel that we can’t do enough for people."
UK inflation showing slight decrease
The Office for National Statistics said that the UK's annual inflation fell to 10.1% in January, a slight decrease from December's 10.5% rate and the peak of 11.1% recorded last October.
Numbers nonetheless remain at their highest in the past 40 years.
On February 2, the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee announced that it would increase the interest rate to 4% from 3.5%.
Read more: Truss urges upping Pacific defense alliance to 'protect Taiwan'
On February 14, The Guardian reported that the UK recorded losses worth £29 billion in its overseas investments, which is the equivalent of roughly £1,000 per household.
Ever since the UK Brexit the EU single market, private sector investment had "stopped in its tracks", according to a study conducted by Jonathan Haskel, an external member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee who is responsible for setting national interest rates.
The study is likely to raise concerns that the Brexit vote and the strategy adopted by former prime minister Boris Johnson to leave the EU single market and customs union has resulted in damage beyond repair to the British economy.
In June 2016, 51.8% of UK citizens voted to end the country's membership in the EU, while 48.1% voted to remain in the union. Nonetheless, six and a half years later, the UK is still engaged in a lengthy and convoluted series of negotiations related to its exit from the EU.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's plan to repeal thousands of EU laws by the end of 2023 could spark a full-fledged trade war between London and Brussels, according to senior European Union officials.
Meanwhile, EU leaders are said to be secretly planning their own "unilateral rebalancing measures" in Brussels. These measures could include the option of imposing tariffs on UK goods entering the EU single market, according to media reports.
All of this could result in a trade war with the EU and serious economic damage to the UK.
Read more: Sunak confirms over £2.3bln package to be sent to Ukraine in 2023