Poplar and Limehouse MP Jim Fitzpatrick wants the government to mitigate the rising cost of living

PUBLISHED: 12:46 08 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:46 08 January 2014


One of my last votes of 2013 was on a very important issue close to my heart. The motion was on the growing number of people who are living in food poverty and relying on food banks.

According to Trussell Trust, one of the major food bank providers, the number of people using food banks has increased from 41,000 in 2010 to more than 500,000 since April this year, a third of whom are children.

There are, of course, a number of reasons for this significant increase in food poverty.

It’s not clear-cut and issues like high unemployment, cuts to services and changes to benefits are all contributing to a serious squeeze on living standards.

I know that many people who work at food banks have also highlighted that the recent increase in Job Seekers Allowance sanctions is having a big impact on demand.

In voting for the motion I agreed that the government needs to do much more to address this growing problem.

Our first step must be a range of measures to mitigate the rising cost of living, including a temporary freeze on energy prices, reversing the spare rooms subsidy, helping to boost wages by incentivising employers to pay a living wage and introducing a water affordability scheme to help households struggling to pay their bills.

I know that many have to do more with less at the moment and they feel increasingly angry at a government which isn’t helping them.

I think we can all agree that if we’re going to change this we need to start with those most in need.

Food banks are a last hope for many and a good place to start if we are going to turn things around.

In 2014 I want to work closer than ever before with food banks and the many services in Poplar and Limehouse which are giving people a hand.

Latest East London News Stories

Older people in Tower Hamlets are being trained in classical dance by the English National Ballet to commemorate a century since the end of the First World War.


Police are looking for the driver of a suspicious vehicle which sped away as they approached and was a then in a hit-and-run incident in Spitalfields yesterday.

Yesterday, 15:17

One thousand people left their offices following a basement blaze in Canary Wharf this afternoon.

Yesterday, 13:06

Campaigners have finally sunk plans for the controversial Enderby Wharf cruise-liner terminal going ahead which would have polluted a huge swathe of the Thames and the Isle of Dogs.

Yesterday, 11:00

An advice clinic set up as a temporary free service at Stratford following cuts to legal aid has won a funding contract for a permanent operation.

Tue, 18:00

Optician director Jayesh Maru has seen his way to the ancient mountain-top Inca capital of Machu Picchu and has found his way back to east London.

Tue, 13:36

Children have spent four years researching the life of a pupil at their school more than 100 years ago who was later awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously after being killed in the First World War.

Tue, 09:54

Small businesses occupying railway arches in east London facing crippling rent rises as much as 350 per cent have been promised a tenants’ charter to safeguard their trading.


Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now