NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
The growth of food banks across in the United Kingdom in recent years proceeded exponentially as the Lib-Tory coalition government introduced ever tighter austerity measure.
It seems highly likely that now the United Kingdom has a Tory majority government committed to greater austerity food banks will continue to expand to meet a growing need in deprived communities throughout Britain.
The Trussell Trust estimates that in 2013-14 food banks fed over 900,000 people (the figure was up 163 per cent on the previous year).
They say they have over 400 food banks throughout Britain and the number seems set to rise within key areas of the Celtic countries such as Cornwall, North and South Wales, and Central Scotland affected. However, uniquely in these times of deprivation the need for this support is found in every corner of Britain.
Food banks don’t feature greatly in the Isle of Man although local charities did indicate some time ago that the need existed on the Island.
Recently in a heated exchange in the House of Keys over gas charging the comment was made that people have to take a decision whether to ‘eat or heat’. It is a shocking indictment of what has been an economy that has enjoyed considerable success in recent years if that is the case.
Week after week government in the Island pass on stealth charges to the public sometimes shuttling services and charges via local authorities in a crude attempt to gerrymander the way in which the issue is presented to the public. Meanwhile, wages are virtually static.
Other parts of these Islands may be suffering. However, in the UK they still have competitive utility regimes, something singularly lacking in Mann. In remote areas of, for example, the Highlands and Islands they also have fuel subsidies. Meanwhile, in Mann, all fuels are price loaded vis a vis other areas of the British Isles. Food pricing is significantly different partly due to the need to import, but also because of price control.
Some years ago Isle of Man Newspapers did the shopping basket comparator with the UK and at that time prices were considerably higher. If they repeated that today the situation, we wager, would be much worse.
It is not luxuries, but the basics of life that cost dearly on the Isle of Man: bread, milk, meat, fuel, etc. As always it’s those on low or fixed incomes that suffer the most. However, the propensity for home ownership stimulated by lack of low private sector rental or social housing means those with families and mortgages, who have moderate to good incomes, can find themselves financially stretched.
The situation is exacerbated by a Government and Keys that seems insulated or indifferent to what is going on around them. It’s business as usual as they trail off to conferences or on fact finding missions to wax lyrical from the podium and dine well later!
Meanwhile at home in these straightened times their constituents pick up the tab for this gluttony while struggling themselves.
It cannot continue, a breaking point must come!
J B Moffatt (Mr)
Director of Information
(Please note that replies to correspondence received by the League and posted on CL News are usually scanned hard copies. Obviously every effort is made to ensure the scanning process is accurate but sometimes errors do occur.)
ISSUED BY THE CELTIC LEAGUE INFORMATION SERVICE.
The Celtic League was established in 1961and has branches in the six Celtic Countries. It works to promote cooperation between these countries and campaigns on a broad range of political, cultural and environmental matters. It highlights human rights abuse, monitors all military activity and focuses on socio-economic issues
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