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A few weeks ago I started a petition to get Parliament to debate hunger in the UK and why there's been a rise in the use of foodbanks. I thought I'd work steadily towards 100,000 signers over a few months and aim for a debate by Spring. How wrong was I?
Pension age will keep rising, UK chancellor George Osborne announced in his autumn statement today (5 December 2013). Young people now finishing their education will probably have to wait until they are in their 70s. This will have a devastating effect on some areas and sections of society.
The poorest and most vulnerable currently live on the edge of a precipice. If they put a foot wrong, they are plunged over the edge into poverty, destitution, perhaps homelessness. Missing an appointment at the Jobcentre, or even just being late for an appointment, can lead to benefit sanctions which leave them with little or no income. This, to a large extent, accounts for the ever-rising numbers of people dependent on a foodbank to survive.
The UK supreme court has confirmed that the government had broken the law through failing to supply adequate information about its work-or-starve schemes for jobless people. Yet, by and large, ministers are succeeding in inflicting terrible hardship on many unemployed and sick people, as Citizens Advice Bureau research reveals.