It seems Jacob Rees-Mogg is not alone in his failure to understand that the presence of foodbanks across the country should not be considered normal or healthy.
Scrapbook reported on Thursday how the Eton-schooled millionaire told LBC Radio that he finds foodbanks a “rather uplifting” example of what a “compassionate country” we are.
Now his fellow Tory MP, George Freeman, has found a new excuse for the explosion in demand for emergency food parcels since the Tories took power – apparently being unable to buy food is just part of modern life.
Freeman told BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour:
“The truth is things are tough. They have been tough in the last few years. Barry [Gardiner] may well try to say this is a Tory problem – foodbanks went up by 10 times under Tony Blair. It’s been part of modern living. The cost of living has gone up.”
The Tories always like to claim there’s nothing new in foodbanks – but here’s bow demand has grown since they entered government in 2010:
— The Trussell Trust (@TrussellTrust) April 25, 2017
Freeman then had the audacity to suggest:
“Conservative economic policy is providing the best hope of all – it’s jobs and income that really boost prosperity.”
Low income, benefit delays and benefit changes are the most common reasons for referral – hardly an endorsement for Tory economic policy.
Freeman certainly played his part in slashing benefits during his time as head of Theresa May’s policy unit.
Earlier this year, he defended massive cuts to PIP disability benefits at the dispatch box by arguing only “really disabled people” deserve the support.
And when it comes to wages, Freeman has defended the Government’s dire record for prosecutions against bosses undercutting the minimum wage.
He told a Labour MP that they were “playing the politics of envy” by calling for enforcement of the policy.
Naturally, Freeman also voted against an investigation into the growth of foodbanks and hunger in Britain.
Far from being part of “modern living”, foodbanks are the sign of a society going backwards under the Tories…