Tory MP claims no 'massive use' for food banks but generations 'can't cook or budget properly'

Ashfield MP Lee Anderson invited 'everybody' on the opposition benches to visit a food bank in Ashfield

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A Conservative MP has claimed there is not a “massive use” for food banks in the UK but “generation after generation who cannot cook properly” and “cannot budget”.

Ashfield MP Lee Anderson invited “everybody” on the opposition benches to visit a food bank in Ashfield to “see the brilliant scheme we have got in place where when people come now for a food parcel, they have to register for a budgeting course and a cooking course”.

He added: “And what we do in the food bank, we show them how to cook cheap and nutritious meals on a budget. We can make a meal for about 30 pence a day. And this is cooking from scratch.”

Conservative MP Lee Anderson made the comments during a speech in Parliament.
Conservative MP Lee Anderson made the comments during a speech in Parliament.

Intervening, Labour MP Alex Cunningham (Stockton North) asked: “Should it be necessary to have food banks in 21st century Britain?”

Labour MP Alex Cunningham questioned Lee Anderson over the assertion.
Labour MP Alex Cunningham questioned Lee Anderson over the assertion.

Mr Anderson replied: “He makes a great point and this is exactly my point. So, I invite you personally to come to Ashfield, look at our food bank, how it works and I think you will see first hand that there’s not this massive use for food banks in this country but generation after generation who cannot cook properly, they can’t cook a meal from scratch. They cannot budget. The challenge is there. Come, come. I’ll offer anybody.”

The comments came as a leading think tank said around 1.5 million UK households will struggle to pay food and energy bills amid a deepening cost-of-living crisis that will plunge Britain into a recession.

Soaring inflation compounded by the war in Ukraine will see many families hit with food and energy bills greater than their disposable income, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (Niesr) estimates.

It has called for the Government to offer emergency support as it predicted that more than 250,000 households will “slide into destitution” next year, with the total number in extreme poverty to hit around one million unless urgent action is taken.

It also forecasts that the crisis will see the UK fall into a technical recession this year – as defined by two quarters in a row of declining gross domestic product (GDP) – with the economy set to contract in the third and fourth quarters.