According to the decision of the British authorities, from now on, students from needy families will no longer receive free school meals during the autumn and Christmas holidays. In response, Manchester United player Marcus Rashford — himself from a poor family — launched a protest campaign, which has already been supported by several supermarket chains, restaurants, NGOs, companies, and a number of municipalities.
The government mocks the needy
The Times calls on the government to reverse the decision:
“The government can very forcefully state that providing food to low-income families is problematic because once the pandemic is over, there may be demands to continue this practice. … And nevertheless, now the position of the government sounds like a mockery: on the one hand, it finances a campaign to help the gastronomic sector under the motto ‘We eat not at home — and we help!’ At the expense of taxpayers, in which restaurant visitors receive 50 percent discounts — a scheme that mainly benefits the middle class. And at the same time, the government refuses to provide food to those who need it most. Of course, a course change is necessary.”
The state should help those in need with money, not in kind, says The Spectator:
“In other words, the poor should not be given blankets and bowls of soup, but financial aid, which they can use at their own discretion. Against this approach, one often hears the following argument: how to ensure that government aid actually goes to children’s meals and not to buy drugs for parents? However, there is a very strong argument in favor of this approach: if people for a long time become dependent on receiving in-kind assistance, then they lose their financial independence — or the ability to develop it.”