End child food poverty.
I was very disturbed to see the above video. How is it we can spend untold trillions of pounds on silly things but we cannot feed our own children? Something is very wrong.
The financial position of UK parents.
When you go on maternity leave your income halves. Minimum wage is £8.72 per hour for those over 25. Let’s assume you work for 40 hours per week. That equates to £348.80 per week. After tax and national insurance that works out at £275.68.
Childcare per child is £45 per child per day. Assuming you work for 5 days that works out at £225 per week. Hence a mother who returned to work would take home £275.68-£225= £50.68 per week.
That works out at £1.27 per hour over a 40 hour week.
Many people are on zero hour contracts so they don’t know one week to the next if they have work.
All too often the other half (is there is one) has to take on a second job. That results in the other half having the heart breaking situation of missing the children growing up.
Inflation is 3%. Wage rises if you are lucky are 1%. Hence your wages are worth less and less. Hence many people cannot afford to have kids.
Worse still many people can’t afford to put anything into a private pension. So they retire on the state pension of £134.25 per week- around 40% of what they were struggling to live on to start with. Hence so many pensioners work in supermarkets.
Please watch the video from BBC news called “Public and councils offer free meals to children after government refuses to fund them.”
Now please watch “Growing anger over government refusal to fund meals for vulnerable children”
It’s not that cut and dry.
The UK opposition tabled a debate in parliament which the government opposed. Here is the government’s response. See https://www.facebook.com/andrealeadsom/posts/3694020647283855
Last night Parliament voted on extending free school meals outside term time in an opposition debate tabled by the Labour Party. I voted with the Government. Every politician agrees that no child must go hungry — this opposition debate was used to imply that Labour takes a different view to the Government.
This Government has actually extended free school meal eligibility to a further 50,000 children and expanded programmes like breakfast clubs and has not cut funding or availability like the Labour Party are claiming.
Since the start of Coronavirus, the Government has added over £9 billion to the welfare system. This has allowed it to:
→ Increase Universal Credit by £1,000/year
→ Increase Local Housing Allowance and create a £180m fund to help struggling families with their rent
→ Create a £63m fund for councils to use for local welfare assistance
→ Award £16m to food charities
This is all money that is going to families who are in need. The Government extended free school meals over the summer holiday this year because most children hadn’t been in school since March and families had been meeting the extra costs of this. This autumn, the situation is totally different. The majority of children are back in school and have therefore been benefiting from free school meals during term as normal.
The short term answer — please sign Marcus Rashford’s parliamentary petition.
I am a Liverpool FC supporter through and through I have to take my hat off to Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford for setting this up and his campaigning.
Please sign this parliamentary petition. If you get 10,000 signatures the government has to respond. If the response is not good enough they can ask for a better response. If that still is not good enough the committee can summon a minister for questioning.
If you get 100,000 signatures then they consider it for debate in parliament. It’s reached that. I would be interested to see the debate.
Government should support vulnerable children & #endchildfoodpoverty by implementing 3 recommendations from the National Food Strategy to expand access to Free School Meals, provide meals & activities during holidays to stop holiday hunger & increase the value of and expand the Healthy Start scheme
Covid-19 has been tough on us all but Government should ensure children don’t pay the price:
- 14% of parents & 10% of children have experienced food insecurity over the last 6 months
- 32% of families have lost income as a result of Covid-19
- Demand for food banks this winter is predicted to be 61% higher than last.
With the Child Food Poverty Taskforce, I am calling for Government to allocate money to
- Expand free school meals to all under-16s where a parent or guardian is in receipt of Universal Credit or equivalent benefit
- Provide meals & activities during all holidays
- Increase the value of Healthy Start vouchers to at least £4.25 per week, and expand the scheme.
These 3 recommendations must be implemented without delay to #endchildfoodpoverty.
Please go to https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/554276
The long term solution.
Get on multiple sources of income.
- Growing Up Poor: The family living off a food bank https://www.facebook.com/523948101073214/videos/632551704052134/
- Public and councils offer free meals to children after government refuses to fund them BBC News Oct 23, 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9h8t6u_6Xyo
- Growing anger over government refusal to fund meals for vulnerable children — BBC News Oct 24, 2020 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-2eVrP_ChE