Today I chaired the Parliamentary Group on Ending the Need for Food Banks’ meeting on local welfare assistance. We had speakers from local government, food banks, the charity sector, and Parliament.
Local welfare schemes are run by councils to provide emergency support to people in hardship. They’ve been a real lifeline to thousands of struggling families throughout this crisis.
Most contributors agreed that Covid has exposed structural and longer term issues including benefit issues and low pay in work. The Government’s ad hoc, piecemeal approach is more costly than fixing Universal Credit and other problems.
The Budget is next week and today’s discussion also focused on whether the Government will extend some of the temporary schemes beyond March 2021.