YOUR report (Stealing to survive, January 22) was sad and disheartening.

The Coalition government has wiped its hands of what used to be the welfare state and passed all responsibility on to local councils, at the same time as drastically reducing the funds allowed to councils to pay for the now-defunct welfare state.

Your Stamp Out Poverty campaign rightly points out the difficulties people face, but does not as yet come up with any solutions.

It would be interesting to find out the electoral wards (not the names and addresses) of the 127 people who were caught “stealing to survive” from supermarkets and convenience stores.

This could then be compared with the report commissioned more than 20 years ago. We would then be able to see how poverty has moved throughout the city in the intervening years (if indeed it has) rather than, as I suspect, stayed in the same areas of the city as it was more than 20 years ago.

Iain Duncan Smith and all the other Tory and Lib Dem MPs should hang their heads in shame, and resign their positions in government and posts as MPs. They have no clue as to the utter hardship they are forcing on people.

Howard Perry, Ex Labour member of York city council St James Place, Dringhouses, York.