UK food banks have become so large and interconnected they cannot possibly be allowed to fail, claims an independent think tank. Writing in The Economist, Bank of England Chairman Mark Carney agreed with the evidence put forward by the policy researchers, saying he thought they had got it spot on.
Food distribution centres are now such an integral part of government policy it is unthinkable what would happen should they be allowed to go under, said Carney. ‘These banks are at the heart of the nation’s service industry, employing thousands of people and serving millions of customers across the UK. They can be seen on every high street and shopping mall and have come to represent everything this government stands for,’ he added. News of an increase in the use of food banks was cheered in the Commons by Tory ministers who see lengthening queues of food dependants as key to their chances if they are to be re-elected in 2015.
Works and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith was quick to remind Labour that in just three years under Tory rule the UK had become world leader in the food bank industry and it was further evidence the government’s austerity programme was working. But Shadow Minister Rachel Reeve warned about putting the nation’s egg all in one basket saying food banks were not the answer and it was manufacturing that would get us out of this toad-in-the-hole created by the Tories. However Duncan-Smith reminded Reeve that the banking figures do not lie.
‘Food banks are adding new customers every day, the queues are lengthening and demand has never been higher. It’s the biggest growth industry in the UK and something we Tories have proudly introduced for hard working families,’ boasted Duncan-Smith‘ and what’s more over half the new customers using our banks are children. This government has introduced more kids to the need for banking than all previous governments put together. Some of the children queuing at the banks were no more than 3 or 4 years old and even for the world’s seventh largest economy that is some achievement. One you can quite rightly thank Tory policy for making conditions possible. That alone will be this government’s lasting legacy’.