Chancellor George Osborne is sitting on a £30 BILLION National Insurance surplus while struggling families turn to food banks to feed their children, it has been revealed.
Writing in the Daily Mirror, former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott says figures from the House of Lords Library show the government spent £106 billion from National Insurance (NI) contributions last year. The benefits system received £85 billion and the NHS got £21 billion.
But then Mr Prescott discovered something so shocking it managed to stun even a seasoned politician. “I discovered something that stunned me – the Government last year held back nearly £30 billion”, he said.
“National Insurance money can only be used for the NHS or benefits. So since he can’t spend it on anything else and chooses not to fund hospitals, the Chancellor lets it sit there.”
Mr Prescott recommends that the surplus should be used to help shore up a buckling NHS.
But what about helping people forced to turn to food banks due to draconian benefit sanctions, or the cruel and callous ‘bedroom tax’?
The food bank charity Trussell Trust gave out three days worth of food to more than 913,000 people in 2013-14, including 330,205 children.
The most common reason given by food bank users, who must be referred by a professional such as a social worker or health visitor, is benefit delays including sanctions.
A cross-party report to be published later this week, endorsed the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, is expected to show benefits sanctions are at least partly to blame for the soaring number of food bank users.
Stripping a persons only ability to feed themselves and keep warm, often for ridiculous or trivial reasons, can drive people to homelessness and even cost lives.