A Right to Food: Labour will halve food bank usage within a year
Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s Shadow Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, will today (Tuesday) announce that the next Labour government will halve food bank usage within its first year of office.
Labour will set a target of ending the need for food banks altogether within its first three years, requiring different food security measures to be taken across several local and central government departments.
Food insecurity has soared in Britain since Labour left office in 2010. There are now 2,000 food banks across the UK.
Last year, a record 1.6m emergency food parcels were distributed by the Trussell Trust.
The Food Foundation estimates that 4 million children in Britain are now at risk of malnutrition as a result of living in poverty.
Brexit and climate change both threaten even more insecurity to our national food systems.
Labour will ensure that everyone in the UK has a Right to Food by enshrining it in UK law, in a new Fair Food Act. The new law will create a National Food Commission to monitor food insecurity, make recommendations to governments and oversee all aspects of the food system in Britain.
A £6m Access to Food Fund will be established to kick start the development of local community food plans in the 50 most food deprived areas of the country.
Locally developed community food plans would help to improve community based local food systems. Plans could establish local food markets, community gardens, community shops and kitchens, or to improve allotment management and educate or train local people on healthy diets, household food management or food cultivation skills.
The main reasons for referrals to food banks are changes made to the benefit system, delays to benefit payments and punitive benefit sanctions. The food-specific work will complement Labour’s commitments to benefits reform and income enhancing measures, for paid and unpaid workers and for those seeking or unable to work.
Sue Hayman MP, Labour’s Shadow Food and Environment Secretary, said:
“In the world’s sixth richest country, it is a scandal that people are going hungry.
“This government’s mean-spirited welfare policies and failure to think differently that has brought the situation to crisis point. Climate change and a reckless No Deal Brexit threaten to make the issue of food insecurity even worse.
“Food is a basic human right. The next Labour government will introduce a Right to Food in a Fair Food Act.
“We will make sure no one in the country needs to go hungry.
“We will kick start our efforts to build secure, community-based local food system with a £6m Access to Food Fund, initially targeted at the areas of the country with the highest levels of food insecurity.”
Statement by Haringey Labour Chairs regarding Cllr Barbara Blake – Friday 10 May 2019
Rebecca Long-Bailey responds to announcement of new executive pay measures
Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Business Secretary, responding to the announcement of new executive pay transparency measures, said:
“Executive pay is running out of control. While the Conservatives’ watered-down regulations will only require large companies to publish pay bands, Labour in government will take decisive action on excessive pay. [Read More]
John McDonnell comments on Resolution Foundation report on wealth taxes and subsidies
John McDonnell MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, commenting on the latest Resolution Foundation report on wealth taxes and subsidies, said:
“Today’s report from the Resolution Foundation is a much-needed debate on tax reform.
“Labour is committed to conducting a review of tax reliefs in government and we consistently call for Entrepreneurs Relief to be reviewed and evaluated against its effectiveness. We have also produced a Tax Transparency and Enforcement Programme that will close loopholes and flush out tax avoiders and evaders from the system.
“Labour will create a fair tax system that will get the rich and giant corporations to pay a little more to end austerity, fund our public services properly, and build an economy that works for the many, not the few.”