The U.K.’s political leaders used their Christmas messages to pay tribute to voluntary groups, at the end of a year that saw the number of food banks, which offer support to the poor, continue to increase.
Between April and September, more than 350,000 people received packages from food banks associated with the Trussell Trust, a Christian charity, three times as many as the previous year. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government has defended its cuts to welfare spending as necessary to reduce the country’s deficit.
“There are those millions who keep on strengthening our society,” Cameron said in his Christmas message today. “Many of these people are Christians who live out to the letter that verse in Acts, that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive.’ These people put their faith into action and we can all be grateful for what they do.”
Ed Miliband, the leader of the opposition Labour Party, addressed the same theme in his message. “I would like to pay particular tribute to the many people, churches and charities who will be looking after those who are alone or homeless this Christmas time,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Robert Hutton in London at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at firstname.lastname@example.org