Food poverty

I agree with you that this is a serious issue, and it is vital that we do everything possible to help people with the cost of living. The Government is working hard to improve competition to help producers and retailers offer the best prices. They are working to promote a growing, sustainable food and farming sector and keep prices down.

I am aware that people use food banks for many and varied reasons. The Government continues to provide a strong safety net through the welfare system for those who need extra support. Research carried out by organisations, including the Trussell Trust, is regularly reviewed to add to the understanding of food bank use and I am encouraged to hear that Ministers intend to work more closely with the Trussell Trust and other food bank providers to help give a better understand of the issue. This will allow the Government to put in place appropriate interventions to make the situation better.

The welfare system supports millions of people who are on low incomes or unemployed, so nobody has to struggle to meet their basic needs, but I passionately believe that the surest route out of poverty is work. I am delighted that the Government is dedicated to building an economy that works for everyone, and has overseen falls in unemployment, record numbers of jobs, pay cheques rising faster than inflation and income tax cut so that working people keep more of what they earn. I look forward to this record continuing.