New Footage Shows People’s Assembly Protesters Pile Food Outside Downing Street

Hours before UK finance minister Philip Hammond delivers his budget plan to parliament on Tuesday 21 November, anti-austerity campaign organisation the People’s Assembly piled up £10,000 worth of food on the pavement opposite Downing Street.

The prime minister Theresa May got an embarrassing surprise, just hours before the autumn budget began which highlighted a growing catastrophe her government is presiding over. It was making a statement about the controversial rollout of Universal Credit, which the People’s Assembly says will “force thousands more to rely on food banks this winter”.

Read More: Emily Thornberry: Theresa May Lacks The Strength And Authority To Lead Party

“The group chose the day before the Budget to demand an alternative to austerity” and highlight the scale of foodbank use in Britain, Ramona McCartney who works for the People’s Assembly said.

In the evening, the delivery outside Downing Street culminated in a protest. Speakers at the demo included Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Debbie Abrahams and Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon.

The group called for an end to the rollout of the government’s universal credit scheme.

After the protest, the food will be delivered to a foodbank distribution centre in Coventry.

Paula Peters, a Prominent Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) activist said:

“the Tory government has blood on its hands… Call Theresa May what she is. She is a murderer… These cuts are economic murder”

“We’ve got worse to come and that is Universal Credit. And we cannot support ‘pause and fix’. The system is designed… [with] punishment at its heart. It’s designed to ramp up homelessness, hunger, and destitution. It is designed to stop people claiming… We say loud and clear: we want Universal Credit stopped and scrapped.”

Recently, the Trussell Trust found that “food banks in areas of full [Universal Credit] roll out for six months or more have seen a 30% average increase six months after rollout compared to a year before”. It also said that “issues with a benefit payment remain the biggest [43%] cause of referral to a food bank across the UK”.

In September, the Trussell Trust warned that the rollout of Universal Credit would leave it “struggling to cope” with demand. Then, as The Canary recently reported, its prediction came true. It has now reported a surge in food bank referrals. And it placed the blame for this at Universal Credit’s door.

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