By Harry Phibbs
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The Labour Party have been keen to make political capital over the increase in the number of people using Foodbanks.
Labour's response crass for various reasons. Foodbanks were already expanding under the Labour Government. Most of those that use foodbanks are in a short term crisis.
The need for foodbanks isn't new - but more of them mean that more is being done to meet that need and to help people going through a bad time.
As I have written before this doesn't mean that general economic conditions are irrelevant. Increases in the price of food and energy have been above inflation - it is these price rises which hit the poor hardest. Politicians concerned about the poor should consider what can be done about this. While the Government can be proud of tax cuts for the low paid - that doesn't mean it is enough. The tax cuts may well be more than offset by higher costs for eating or heating.
I visited the foodbank in my borough recently. (It was the one which had earlier been visited by Ed Miliband.)