Economics Minister Nadhim Zahawi spoke to Kay Burley this morning in Sky News as the government continues to face anger after MPs rejected a motion to extend free school meals during the pandemic over school vacations.
A minister has claimed that “activities” are more important than food for some disadvantaged children as the government continues to be uptight about the series of free school meals.
“I’m not sure that’s true”
he said: “The best way to deal with this is through local government and the welfare system.
In a curious conversation, Mr. Zahawi seemed to suggest that for some families in difficulty, activities for their children are more important than food.
Many pointed out that the huge, systemic cutbacks in local government over the past decade have eliminated many of the youth services that were available earlier.
“It’s not just about food, because in the wards where families want their children to be safe, they also value food, but more important than food for them were activities for their children.
In response, moderator Kay said, “I’m not sure if this is true.
Many ministers have talked about how universal credit is the best way to ensure that children do not go hungry.
However, the government’s policy of a two-child limit, which limits support through tax credits and universal credit to the first two children in a family, affects nearly one million children at a time when poverty is increasing for larger families.
On the weekend he tweeted that parents had exchanged school meal vouchers for drugs – before implying that his words were taken out of context.
A number of Tory MPs have been heavily criticized in recent days for their reactions to the debate on child poverty – none more so than Mansfield MP Ben Bradley.
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Now a new social media commentary by the MP is being criticized online.
He said: “Some (vouchers) were valid without restrictions, including those from Aldi, which could be spent on diving equipment if you were inclined to … or gin”.
In an exchange of views with a member of the public on Facebook, Mr. Bradley suggested that parents could also spend their children’s meal vouchers on gin and scuba gear.