A damning new report from the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI) has found that Oxford residents on benefits are being forced to economise on the basics: food and household energy bills. Some even admitted that they "were skipping meals" to provide food for their children.
An independent report from the Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion (CESI) commissioned last year by the City Council's Scrutiny Committee, chaired by Green Councillor Craig Simmons, has finally been made public. The report on the impact of welfare reform in Oxford contains some shocking findings. Almost all those on benefits stated that they were being forced to economise on the basics: food and household energy bills. Some admitted that they "were skipping meals" to provide food for their children [see Note 1].
Says Oxford East Green Parliamentary Candidate Ann Duncan, "In a relatively wealthy city such as Oxford it is a disgrace that people are going hungry as a result of the Government's benefit reforms. I know that local Green Councillors are working hard to convince both City and County Councils to invest more in services to protect the most vulnerable." [Note 2]
 The CESI report, publicly release today (2nd March). Available at:
Reference to 'skipping meals' on page 52.
In the introductory report compiled by the City's officers it was stated:
"A common response from people interviewed was to say they were skipping meals and not heating the house to reduce their outgoings. Many of those who had children reported that they were eating less in order to ensure that their children were able to eat regularly."
(see paragraph 5)
 Both City and County Green Groups proposed increases in spending on services for the most vulnerable in the recent budget-setting rounds (mid February). For example, the Greens on the City Council put together a package of measures worth more than £2m by diverting existing spending and generating additional revenue.
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