BY VIEW EDITOR BRIAN PELAN
I have just finished reading a report called ‘Feeding Britain – A strategy for zero hunger in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland’.
The report was produced by an all-party parliamentary inquiry into hunger in the United Kingdom.
I am tempted to try and cook and eat it or use it to light a fire because one thing is guaranteed, the report, if its key points were implemented, would guarantee the continuation of hunger.
As I read through it I was reminded of Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay, A Modest Proposal, when he urged the poor in the 18th century to boil their children and serve them up to the rich to eat.
The Bishop of Truro, Tim Thornton, in his introduction to the report, says: “We are living at a time of difficult financial circumstances. The Government has to make hard choices with limited resources.”
The question is who or what created the “difficult economic circumstances” and why were “hard choices” made when we live in a society that in the last 30 years the nation’s wealth has more than doubled from £723 billion in 1983 to £1,533 billion in 2013?
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has warned that Chancellor George Osborne’s statement on forthcoming cuts would, if implemented, see the state reduced to its smallest size relative to GDP for 80 years. If Osborne continues to reduce the welfare budget then poverty will increase and food banks continue to grow.
We may then have to print millions of copies of ‘Feeding Britain’ to try and ease the growing hunger on our streets – a sprinkle of rosemary and lemon on its cover page could make it more edible. Perhaps the indefatigable optimist Jamie Oliver could assist in how to make a tasty recipe out of the report.