Welfare Reform Blamed For Soaring Malnutrition

In this post, The Void reports the growing incidence of malnutrition caused by Ian Duncan Smith’s attack on the benefits system. As well as citing the Yorkshire Evening Post’s figures on the people treated for and suffering from malnutrition, he also quotes the findings by the Citizens Advice Bureau. These have found that 70 per cent of those, whose benefits have been cut off, have been forced to cut down on food. Many are forced to go through rubbish bins scavenging for scraps. He quotes one victim of these cuts, who states that they were forced to go without food for days on end. This person suffers from hypoglycaemia, a condition similar to, but almost the complete opposite of, diabetes. Instead of the individual having too much sugar, the sufferer has too little. As you would expect, the starvation forced on this person through simply being unable to afford to eat made their condition worse. They were left feeling weak and sick, and suffering from confusion and black-outs. This is very much a return to the grinding squalor and poverty of the 19th century. I remember my grandmother telling me, how the very poor in Glasgow were forced to eat pigswill during the Great Recession of the 1930s. In the 1880s there was a massive scandal when it was revealed that conditions in one workhouse was so poor the inmates were eating left-over pieces of bone. This prompted a government inquiry, and further legislation to provide that the people imprisoned in such ‘indoor relief’ were adequately fed. Many bloggers have pointed out that Cameron’s welfare reforms are based on the same Victorian idea of ‘less eligibility’. This is the belief that conditions should be deliberately made harsh for those on welfare, in order to deter the able-bodied from seeking it. It caused immense suffering then, and now, under Cameron, it has returned to cause further distress and hardship. This is Cameron’s Tory Britain: a third-world nation, where the poor starve while the wealthy get ever richer and more bloated.

the void

IDS-malnutritionCuts to social security, stagnating wages and high fuel bills have been blamed for a trebling of hospital admissions due to malnutrition in Leeds.

According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, 93 people needed hospital treatment for malnutrition in 2012, compared to just 30 in 2008. These tragic cases could represent the tip of the iceberg says Councillor Lisa Mulherin, warning that the number of hospital admissions: “tells us something about the changes to the welfare system, wage stagnation and the way fuel prices have gone up out of all proportion with people’s pay.”

A shocking 27,000 people across Leeds were estimated to be suffering from or at risk of clinical nutrition said health professionals in the city last year.

Appalling the situation is likely to become far worse as a wave of cuts to benefits begins to bite.  The Bedroom Tax is just a few months old and 9000…

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