Welsh Secretary challenged over ‘vicious cycle’ of food poverty in Wales
Welsh Secretary David TC Davis has been challenged over the ‘vicious cycle’ of food poverty in Wales during a debate in Westminster.
Plaid Cymru’s Westminster leader, Liz Saville Roberts urged the Secretary of State to “stake his support for the Union on its ability to eradicate food poverty.”
According to recent figures from the Trussell Trust, 20% of all adults in Wales (or their households) have experienced food insecurity in the 12 months to mid-2022. This equates to an estimated 753,000 people in Wales.
This means that at some point over this period, they have run out of food and been unable to afford more, and/or reduced meal size, eaten less, gone hungry or lost weight due to lack of money.
This is higher than the proportion of people experiencing food insecurity across the UK which stands at 14%.
In addition, there is a significant evidence base describing the complex and cyclical relationship between poverty and disability and ill health.
Long-term health conditions are more prevalent amongst households with lower levels of income.
“One in five people in Wales are facing hunger. On the NHS’ 75th birthday – we must break the vicious cycle where poverty fuels hunger, and consequently, poor health,” Ms Saville Roberts said.
“As he’s a staunch believer in the power of the Union, I would like to pose a challenge:
“Would he be willing to stake his support for this Union on its ability to eradicate food poverty in Wales by the end of the Tories’ time in office?”
In response, David TC Davies said that his support for the Union is “absolute” and criticised the Welsh Government’s plan to “ban” meal deals, referring to planned clampdowns on unhealthy meal deals and supermarket temporary price reductions for foods high in fat, sugar or salt.
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