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Rise of food banks shows Wales needs to change the economy to make it fairer, says Wales TUC

New Wales TUC analysis published today (Thursday) reveals that there has been a 32% increase in the number of emergency food parcels given to families in the Wales since the 2017 election. 

The analysis uses publicly available data from the Trussell Trust to compare the number of emergency food parcels issued in Wales between April and September 2017 (43,059) with the same six-month period in 2019 (56,843).  

The growth parallels wider trends in the economy that are pushing more families into hardship. 

  • Wages: The average weekly wage in Wales is still lower than it was a decade ago. 

  • Insecure work: 10% of workers in Wales are in insecure work and there’s been a 35% rise in zero-hours contracts in the last 12 months.  

  • Low quality jobs: Work is no longer the route out of poverty that it once was: 2 in 3 children in poverty in Wales live in working households.   

Julie Cook, Wales TUC National Officer, stated: 

“The commitment of so many foodbank volunteers and donors to helping their neighbours is amazing. But if we had a fair economy it wouldn’t be needed.  

“Austerity, low pay and insecure work are pushing working-class families below the breadline.  

“People are fed up with a rigged economy that only serves those at the top. It’s time to put working-class families first. Let’s change our economy to make it fair again for everyone” 

The Wales TUC is calling on the next UK Government to put working families first: 

  • Get wages rising faster for everyone - not just those in the boardroom.  

  • Introduce an £10 minimum wage immediately.  

  • Ban zero-hours contracts and guarantee everyone the security they need at work.    

  • Give the Welsh Government the funding it needs to ensure sustainable and successful public services.