Question Time Member Calls For Government To Do More For Workers Using Food Banks

·3-min read
Fiona Bruce speaking to Claire Chambers on BBC Question Time about using food banks
Fiona Bruce speaking to Claire Chambers on BBC Question Time about using food banks

Fiona Bruce speaking to Claire Chambers on BBC Question Time about using food banks

A BBC Question Time audience member slammed the government as she revealed she still has to use food banks to feed her children, despite having a job.

From this week’s episode, held in Gravesend in Kent, the panel and audience discussed how general inflation has fallen from 10.1% to 8.7% – but food inflation is still at a staggering 19.1%.

Claire Chambers asked the panel of politicians and commentators about her own difficult situation: “Is it right that a family with two adults and two children should still have to rely on a food bank to get by?”

“I’m a cleaner and my husband works in the transport industry,” she added.

Host Fiona Bruce asked: “And yet, despite that, you have to rely on food banks?”

The audience member said: “Every now and again, not constantly, yeah.”

Chambers continued: “It shouldn’t be that way. It seems like those that are unemployed get free dental care, get the free this, get the free that.

“But there’s no incentive for those who do work, and try. What do we get?”

The rest of the BBC Question Time crowd broke out in applause at that.

Pressed by Bruce over what she might want the government to do for those who are working but still struggling to make ends meet, the audience member said she just wanted “a little bit more giving”.

Chambers also suggested at the moment it was a case of the government “taking” money workers have earned, while those who “don’t give are given everything on a plate”.

Over on the panel, journalist and broadcaster Janet Street-Porter pointed out how food basics had “soared” in price over the last year.

“I really don’t know how families like yours do cope,” she said, before suggesting Downing Street “reins in” the supermarkets and makes transport more affordable.

Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis said he didn’t think anyone on the panel “would argue that’s wrong” – but the UK “doesn’t seem to be able to deal with it”.

The former star of Dragon’s Den pointed out that food inflation is still shockingly high, and that even if that comes down, it doesn’t mean prices will actually drop – just that they’ll increase at a slower rate.

He also claimed it wasn’t fair to blame the supermarkets, because a lot of issues come down the supply chain, including high fuel costs.

Pensions minister Laura Trott said the government was trying to do all it can to help, including the energy help (which is now coming to an end), the windfall tax on energy giants and the cost of living payments.

“She’s still having to go to food banks,” Bruce pointed out.

Trott said she understood that – but claimed the government is focusing on cutting inflation.