Heidi Allen MP and Frank Field MP are launching an inquiry into the extent and causes of chronic poverty in England.
Five years on from the parliamentary inquiry that was conducted by a cross-party group of MPs and Peers, into the growing need for food banks in this country, Frank and Heidi will refresh the inquiry’s findings with a programme of visits to food banks and other frontline community organisations.
Their main objective is to gain evidence on how and why the face of poverty is changing in our communities, to gauge the severity of destitution in each area, and to seek ideas for a reform programme to protect people from hunger and homelessness.
Heidi comments: ‘Our inquiries through the Work and Pensions Select Committee and projects we are implementing with Feeding Britain, provide us with regular insights into poverty. The focus of these visits is to expose the nature of this poverty in its entirety, understand what causes it, and most importantly, identify what needs to be done to address it.’
Frank adds: ‘Half a century ago, when he encountered hungry children and sheer desperation in some of his country’s poorest communities, Bobby Kennedy issued a plea for action to salvage the living standards of what he called “the other America”. What Heidi and I are seeking to discover in the next few weeks is how the soft underbelly of our society – the other England – can be strengthened so that none of our fellow citizens are pushed into destitution.’