The weekly cost of full-time childcare is an extortionate £233 a week, photo Anthony Kelly/CC

The weekly cost of full-time childcare is an extortionate £233 a week, photo Anthony Kelly/CC   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Big business got billions – Fight for what we need

  • Free holiday school meals for all children who need them
  • Work or full pay. Maintain and extend the furlough scheme
  • No reduction in Universal Credit. No delay in payments. Increase benefits in line with the minimum wage
  • Minimum wage of £12 an hour as a step to £15
  • Stop local authority cuts. For a mass campaign involving trade unions and local communities to demand from the Tories the money needed to fund local services
Lindsey Morgan, Parent and school meals campaigner, Leicester

Tory MP Brendan Clarke-Smith said he wants parents to “take some responsibility for their children”. We live in a system that makes it incredibly difficult for parents to look after their kids. The idea that people want handouts from the government is a lie.

Parents want to be able to provide for their kids without having to ask for help. If it’s about “taking responsibility”, put us in a position where we have the money and resources to do that!

The vast majority of people receiving benefits are in work. Clarke-Smith says he wants “more action to tackle the real causes of child poverty”. We need a minimum wage of at least £12 an hour with benefits raised to match, and an end to zero-hour contracts to “tackle the real causes” of low pay and insecure work.

Children aren’t to blame for whatever their family circumstances are, and whether their parents have the money. All of the services to make it that bit easier to be able to support our kids – mental health support, youth clubs, drug and alcohol support, and breakfast clubs – the Tories have cut them too.

As for what Clarke-Smith calls “nationalising children”. We don’t expect the government to act out of kindness. But we sure as hell are going to fight for the government to provide the money to feed our kids.