Matt Rodda MP to speak at “I, Daniel Blake” Q&A

RFT’s decision to screen I, Daniel Blake at RFT for a second time on Thurs 13th September at 7:30pm, coincided with the facebook release of a Parliamentary speech by Matt Rodda, MP for Reading East, formally asking the House to vote for a pause in the ‘rollout’ of Universal Credit (UC) benefits. This juxtaposition of events prompted RFT to invite both Matt Rodda and Readifood manager Alison Peyton to the upcoming screening on September 13th. The storyline of I, Daniel Blake offers a dramatic but painfully humane account, famously based on research and documentary evidence around the suffering this policy has caused. UC’s ‘Catch 22’ mechanisms As many people know, Ken Loach’s film won a Palme d’Or in 2016. Two years on, for the most vulnerable members of society, not much has changed. Both Matt Rodda and Alison Peyton have expressed keen desires to join RFT for the Q&A sess

In his speech to parliament, Matt highlighted some of the inequities of the UC rollout. including the following edited comments:

UC…a Dickensian misery…the dreadful rise in the number of people seeking help from food banks…which in areas of full universal credit roll-out have experienced a 17% average increase in referrals for emergency food—more than double the national average.

…the complicated online-only application process which seems to add further problems to people already under severe pressure… It is difficult to imagine the (personal) stress, and deep financial distress faced by many on the benefit because of this ill-considered timing. This in itself is wholly unacceptable.

The Q&A session will take place after the screening of the film which starts at 7:30pm with the Q&A scheduled to start around 9:30pm and finish by 10:00pm.