|Editorial Commentary – Let’s have a sense of proportion here!|
Recently there has been some comment in the media about how up to 30% of children in the UK are ‘starving’ because their families are ‘living in poverty’ (Emma Thompson tackles Government on children's food poverty today)
While many children may well be ‘going hungry’, one has to wonder if this is just as a result of low family income or also due to the inability of many modern-day parents to prepare & cook wholesome food using raw materials, which are not sourced from ‘branded’ items (for example porridge & raisins rather than a ‘sugar’ brand cereal for breakfast).
One ‘family-sized’ Indian/Chinese take-away or a delivered Pizza could ‘pay for’ several home-cooked family meals (especially those low in meat – as those proposed in the recent CCC report). Although one does appreciate the difficulties faced by people living in emergency accommodation to prepare home-cooked meals due to lack of space & facilities (such as a fridge).
The government has not helped the problem of families budgeting for all their weekly/monthly expenditures with its ‘botched’ implementation of Universal Credit, where the changeover of benefit delivery has seen around a 5-week ‘gap’ in benefit payments, which many cannot cope with.
However, one also has to factor in the dichotomy of the current epidemic of obesity in children UK-wide and the appearance of the first cases of diabetes 2 in children.
We should also bear in mind that poverty is relative depending where you happen to be born in this world and that here in the UK we don’t really know the meaning of true poverty at its most extreme.
Perhaps the solution for lack of government funding for healthcare & Local Authority spending would be (as has been suggested before) to divert some of the £bns we spend on ‘dubious’ foreign aid projects to resolving UK funding issues (like Children’s Services and Home Economics lessons in school & free evening classes for adults).
From an archived article: “People / politicians / the Media are increasingly calling for a bi-party approach to health & social care policy and a re-examination of the 0.7% of GDP set aside for Foreign Aid (FA), especially money given to third parties, where we have no control over how it is spent. In March 2015 (as we have highlighted before), MPs found that £6.3bn of Britain's aid budget had been handed to major agencies to help hit the target of spending 0.7% of nation's income on foreign aid (including the EU, which then ‘claimed it as their own ‘aid’ one presumes).”Now this is how Foreign Aid ought to be spent! ).