The independent economics think tank, the Resolution Foundation, points out the cost of living both in the North-East and elsewhere in the country continues to rise. In Newcastle 41% of children are growing up in poverty. This is up by 13% since 2014/15 with thousands of residents, many in work on poverty pay, relying on a network of foodbanks.
During the pandemic a £20 weekly uplift to Universal Credit (UC) was a vital lifeline to many families across the city and shamefully cruelly snatched away in October this year. Newcastle City Council believes that the UK government should have retained this uplift to UC and Working Tax Credit.
The council is guaranteeing no child or young person goes hungry, and have continued to ensure that 15,700 city youngsters who receive free school meals have access to food during school holidays.
Government action needed: foodbanks are not the answer
There’s a clear need for national government to reform an inadequate, discriminatory welfare system so that people can afford life’s necessities. Food bills are up, fuel bills continue to rise while taxes increase hitting low- to middle-income earners. The only thing going down is government support for families and households.