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Committee holds session on support for people claiming benefits

17 November 2020

As part of its work examining DWP’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Work and Pensions Committee is holding a session on the experiences of people claiming benefits for the first time, the levels of poverty experienced by those using the benefits system and the support available to them.

Purpose of the session

The Committee will first hear from policy experts about the extent of people experiencing food and fuel poverty since the start of the pandemic and the likely effectiveness of the Government’s announcement last week of extra support for families this winter.

The second panel will feature Feeding Britain and representatives of foodbanks and will give MPs the chance to explore the issues around rising levels of foodbank use during the pandemic. Earlier this year, the charity and the Independent Food Aid Network (IFAN) described the increase in demand for foodbanks as ‘truly staggering’.


On Wednesday 18th November 2020

At 9.30am

Panel 1

  • Torsten Bell, Chief Executive, Resolution Foundation
  • Zoe Charlesworth, Head of Policy, Policy in Practice
  • Paul Johnson, Director, Institute for Fiscal Studies
  • Baroness Phillipa Stroud, CEO, Legatum Institute

Panel 2

  • Andrew Forsey, National Director, Feeding Britain
  • Stella West-Harling, Founder and CEO, Dartmoor Community Kitchen Hub
  • Jason Strelitz, Director of Public Heath, Newham Council
  • Sam Carter, Debt Adviser, StepChange
  • Mr Gary Vaux, National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers and Head of Money Advice Unit at Hertfordshire County Council

Further information

Image: PA