• Kirsten

Press Release: Kirsten Oswald Challenges the UK Government to Tackle Food Insecurity

Kirsten Oswald, Member of Parliament for East Renfrewshire, is backing calls by The Food Foundation for the UK Government to make food insecurity central to its levelling up agenda.


The Food Foundation has released survey results that show 8.8% of households (4.7 million adults) across the UK reported experiencing food insecurity in the past month. This has increased from 7.3% of households in July 2021.


3.6% of respondents (1 million adults) reported that they or someone in their household has had to go a whole day without eating in the previous month because they couldn’t afford or access food (up from 2.6% in July).


The survey, which was conducted by YouGov, found that people who are limited a lot by disability are approximately five times more likely to be food insecure (in the past six months) than people reporting no disability.


People on Universal Credit were found to be five times more likely than other respondents to have experienced food insecurity over the previous six months.


62% of households reported receiving higher energy bills this winter and 59% said they are worried that increased energy prices will mean they have less money to feed themselves or their family. 16% of households had already cutting back on the quality or quantity of food to afford other essentials.


The Food Foundation are calling on Government to make tackling food insecurity central to the levelling up agenda.


Kirsten said:


“This is a powerful message from the Food Foundation to the UK Government about its ill thought out and underfunded plans for levelling up across the UK. The reality is that you can't level up by making millions of people poorer and increasing food insecurity.


“Poverty, inequality and food insecurity have risen to record levels under this Prime Minister. This will get worse unless the UK Government reverses its cuts to Universal Credit and increases to National Insurance in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.


"For all the hype, the UK Government’s levelling up proposals offer more of the same from a broken Westminster system. The UK has had the worst levels of poverty and inequality of any country in northwest Europe under every Tory and Labour government over the past twenty years. Only independence can give Scotland the powers it needs to build a fairer, more sustainable country."