Grantham Journal letter: Government is using charities

Have your say

With reference to your leader column (Journal, April 18), I am concerned that the number of people being referred to the services of the foodbank has increased, and I do question why.

Why are people being told by government agencies to avail themselves of the good offices of a charity? The foodbank is a charity, it is not government-funded or sponsored.

Charities should not in any way be used as a prop, or indeed subsidise government. Is the government sitting back and allowing it to happen under the guise of austerity?
To suspend claimants’ benefit whilst proving eligibility, and where children are involved, is unforgivable – not only does it prevent normal housekeeping continuing, but the recipient’s bank account is accruing vast amounts of bank charges to boot.

There are no funds to top up utility meters, meaning you cannot cook, wash your children or their clothing, or keep warm.

If you are in a rented property you are in serious arrears with threats from the landlord looming.

If a parent behaved in this way as of norm they would be prosecuted for the neglect of the wellbeing of their chldren – how is a government agency allowed to behave in this way?
But the claimaint being told to go to a foodbank is an insult. The welfare state was devised to prevent all of this many years ago – why is our government circumventing such a basic safety net?
I do not in any way doubt the good intentions and services of all involved in the charity.

I have myself donated when they have been collecting at the supermarket, but I have felt irritated by my own lack of funds (I am retired and income is state pension) and I have so wanted to provide all of what is needed to make food for the kids with a few treats on the side, not the half-hearted, out-of-date tin of tomatoes and tomato soup and beans that have been given.

There is only so much you can do with that. But I have felt it needed much, much more; perhaps home budgeting and management.

But nevertheless, people have been very grateful for what has been donated and what they have received.

But I do think it is more than time the charities involved said ‘enough is enough’.

If we can spend millions of pounds a day on EU membership and be open-handed with foreign aid, plus a permanent open door for Europe and beyond, plus benefits, it is time to challenge the government.
We are a very small island with no chance of being any bigger, and it is time we treated our own people fairly.

Diana Greenhalgh

Gonerby Hill Foot