Iain Duncan Smith has promised to respond positively to a Church of England-backed report on the spread of food banks in the UK, saying he was looking at how sanctioned claimants that lose jobseeker’s allowance need not lose housing benefit as well.{jcomments on}

The work and pensions secretary told MPs: “We want to do everything we can to make sure that people do not stumble into a process of sanctions” – the loss of benefits entitlement that is one of the most common reasons that people use food banks.

Duncan Smith also announced that Department for Work and Pensions staff were to be sent new advice that they must constantly inform claimants that short-term cash advances are available to people before their benefit claims are processed.

Striking a conciliatory tone in response to the highly critical report supported by the archbishop of Canterbury, the cabinet minister said that fresh guidance would be sent to 700 job centres in a move that was welcomed by the cross-party inquiry into food banks in the UK.

Read the full story in the Guardian


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