UK hunger epidemic becoming a 'Public Health Emergency', warn experts

foodbank-scotland.jpg
Food poverty is a "Public Health Emergency" driven by falling pound and
austerity policies in London

 

Scottish News: UK hunger epidemic becoming a 'Public Health Emergency'

Britain's currency crisis is leading to a food emergency across Scotland and the rest of Britain with a number of high profile academics warning that the epidemic "has all the signs of a public health emergency that could go unrecognised until it is too late to take preventative action,"

Food poverty is now an "emergency" in the UK according to a letter co-signed by six leading public health experts in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). The lead author of the document, David Taylor-Robinson, warns that the "rising cost of living" coupled with "austere welfare reforms" by the Westminster government were responsible.

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As the UK government and the Bank of England pursue a policy of increasing the money supply, the pound is losing its purchasing power and food prices are rocketing. Recently, it was revealed that - for example - the price of fruit in Britain had risen 14 percent in a single year while the cost of an apple had increased forty-four percent over the same period.

The Red Cross are now active in Britain helping to feed hungry families for the first time since World War II.

The use of food banks across Scotland and the rest of the UK has tripled in the last year according to The Trussell Trust which says it has provided 350,000 people, many of them children, with a minimum of three days’ worth of meals from it in the 12 months leading to October.

The authors of the letter warn: "the effects of these policies on nutritional status in the most vulnerable populations urgently need to be monitored...Access to an adequate food supply is the most basic of human needs and rights."

Those suffering from malnutrition - a condition normally associated with third-world countries - have risen in number from 3,136 in 2008/9 to 5,499 in 2012/13, according to official figures.

The authors are particularly concerned about the impact of malnutrition among children, as exposure at a young age leads to lifelong effects including cardiovascular and other chronic illnesses.

While benefits are being slashed by Westminster, the UK government is encouraging an increase in the money supply through quantitative easing (new money creation) and private credit growth. This in turn increases government revenues allowing it to finance its budget deficit. The problem is that with the amount of new money being created, the value of the pound goes down and so food imported from other countries becomes much more expensive for families to buy.

As the UK continually devalues its currency, the threat of investors leaving Britain raises the prospect of a currency crisis as warned by leading international economist Steve Keen and renowned international investor Jim Rogers.

Scotland’s referendum and poverty

However, our politicians appear ignorant of the link between currency and poverty. Last weekend, when discussing Scotland's independence referendum, Labour's Kezia Dugdale MSP said that she was "not interested in talking about currency and interest rates" as she wanted to discuss "poverty" and so shockingly had no idea that the two are closely related, raising the question of the quality of Scotland's 'top level' politicians and their ability to understand what remaining in the Union, devolution, independence or a sterling zone actually means.

As Scotland's referendum approaches the question the Scottish government will be under increasing pressure to answer is why Scots should keep sterling after independence if its international credibility is under threat and it is already driving Scottish families into food and energy poverty.

Last week's White Paper on independence did not include any reference to an 'impact assessment' on Scots' citizens should the sterling currency collapse immediately after independence - a matter of profound anxiety for a growing number of Scots.

 

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commented 2014-02-15 00:26:46 +0000 · Flag
Now get out on crown land with the rest of the populace and grow a communal garden.
published this page in News 2013-12-05 14:08:42 +0000