Good afternoon Mr Cameron, you don’t know me, we have never met or spoken, but I feel like I know you.
I live in rural England, and since I came to live here from France I have been shocked by the standard of living that I find my neighbours ‘enjoying’. I am on the committee of our local University of the Third Age, and at our committee meeting last week we had a discussion about raising our membership fees. It was proposed to raise them from £14 per annum to £15 per annum and I could not believe the discussion that ensued because many of our 400 members may not be able to afford the extra £1 per year.
This shocked me, because I am a pensioner, I do not possess the means to increase my disposable income like some folk can, but I can easily afford an extra £1 per annum, and I naively assumed that everybody could. Not so apparently.
About 2 weeks ago we had a visiting speaker come to our weekly meeting to talk to us about the local Food Bank.
It was not the most gripping presentation I have ever sat through but two stark facts have remained with me;
1) The number of food vouchers processed by our local food bank since the infamous so-called Bedroom Tax came into effect has increased noticeably. Coincidence? Not for me to say, but I don’t think so.
2) The largest statistical sector receiving help from the food bank is the Employed on a low wage, NOT Benefits Claimants. This indicates to me two things a) maybe not all Benefits Claimants are out to leech as much as they can out of the system and b) A measurable percentage of the working population are worse off than Benefits Claimants.
Clearly your grand Reforms are failing. Iain Duncan Smith should be ashamed of these facts (they are facts, they are independently verifiable) and maybe your Reforms are not as successful as you think they are. Maybe you could get one of your Think Tanks to report on the situation.
Oh, and yes, the Food Bank do distribute food that is past its Best Before date, will you be having some for your dinner tonight?