Tuesday, 19 November 2013

VAT on food?

Malnutrition means different things to different people......for some it means a diet of beef burgers and chips is bad for us. For most of us malnutrition means going without the essential nutrients that give us healthy bones and bodies.
Those of us brought up during the war benefitted enormously from free hand outs of cod liver oil and malt, free orange juice and free milk. Living with my grandparents meant that they ensured that I got all the nutrients that made me a healthy child. Granny had time to cook. Sheep's head broth, scrag end of lamb, potatoe pie......we did not go hungry and I owe my reasonably good health to my first few years of life with grand parents.
Once the war was over and things settled down I was often hungry during the holidays. Lunch was an oxo cube and bread but school meals were free and often the only hot meal during the day. As a very hungry teen ager I used to get  a loaf on my way home and eat it whole because there was little or no food in  the house when I got there!
The thought of charging VAT on food now is just awful.Far more depressing is today's report that Ian Duncan Smith is thinking about it in a new raft of economies.
It is also short sighted. Politicians during the war knew that  children were the future of this country. Even with all the shortages caused by fighting Germany they took pains to ensure that the young ones survived with food supplements in place.
Sending a child to school with a packet of crisps for lunch is something I've seen myself recently..it's clearly not enough. It is a mistake to assume that a child today need not go hungry! Many do! The  number of food banks indicates a growing problem .
VAT on food would directly affect our children. The figures on the malnutrition we know about show it's also a growing trend. Please don't let it get any worse!

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