Oxfam's response to George Osborne's Autumn Statement
Jonaid Jilani Press Officer
5th Dec 2013
In response to George Osborne's Autumn Statement today, Oxfam's UK Poverty Programme Director Chris Johnes, said:
"It is good news for some that the recovery is taking hold, and unemployment is falling. However the improving economic data masks rising levels of poverty among working families as rising living costs outstrip stagnant wages. For those seeking work the situation is even worse as many face rising numbers of often arbitrarily applied benefit sanctions rather than receiving the support they need.
The combination of cuts to social security, insecure work, low pay, and rising costs of living are forcing increasing numbers of people into a position where they have to rely on food banks to survive. More people are using foodbanks this year than last year when the economy was apparently in worse shape.
"We are especially concerned that young people looking for work will be sanctioned if they aren't in training or on a back to work scheme. They must be offered a good quality of employment instead of facing simply punitive measures."
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact: Jonaid Jilani on 07810 181 514 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
Oxfam and Church Action Poverty released a report in May to highlight the fact that around 500,000 people in the UK have turned to food aid.