APPEAL: Choosing between eat and heat

When I saw the headline “Help Us Feed Hungry This Christmas Time’ and the sub-heading “Guardian Launches This Year’s Festive Foodbank Appeal”, I assumed it was for a third world country.

I thought it was a great idea seeing Sainsbury’s staff and volunteers alike doing their bit for them.

It was only when I was reading further that I understood this campaign was for the hungry people of THIS area.

The current Tory-led coalition has made swingeing cuts to the benefits system far too fast and far too drastic for people to cope with in a short space of time.

We now have people having to make choices whether to eat or heat.

With these benefit cuts for help with rent and council tax, and genuinely ill and sick people being processed like cattle fodder via the hated Atos Healthcare programme in which ill people too unfit to work are made to look for work, plus work-related benefits being ever pared back, people are losing goodness knows how much money.

Add to that shop price rises of virtually all products, then build in a minimum of 10 per cent price rises for gas and electric along with at least eight per cent rise in rail fares next year, plus ever-falling wages and zero-hours contracts of employment and we have in this town the ‘perfect storm’ of starving, frightened, scared and petrified families being expected to survive on pound an hour slave-like benefits.

The UK gives at least £11 billion of taxes in foreign aid whilst at the same time denying its own people access to food and heating.

The UK also gives something nearer £90 billion to the EU to squander and waste every year. Collectively, we ‘give’ away taxes totalling at least £110 billion. Yet here, for the sake of an extra £50 a week to families for food and heating, people in this area will starve to death this winter or, if not, die of hypothermia.

Would our MP like to come into print and explain to us why it is that the Tory-led coalition government send all this money abroad to keep everyone else in a life of luxury whilst denying Spaldonians their rights to food and heating?

Alan Long

Spalding