The new liberal outrage of the day were the unfortunate remarks of one Baroness Jenkin who apparently cooks her own breakfast which costs only 4p. She stated that if poor people in Britain knew how to cook, they could save money by preparing their own meals, instead of buying fast food and wouldn't have to rely on charity in the form of food banks. Naturally, she was accused of committing crimes against humanity by refusing to blindly accept the dogma that all poor people are saints and their problems are never the consequences of their own stupid decisions.
She was duly chastised for her heresy and promptly apologised. It's noteworthy that if you look at her picture in Daily Mail, you'll see an older woman in good physical shape, in contrast to many lower class women who are often overweight and even obese. According to the statistical data, UK actually leads in obesity rates within the EU. We are experiencing the same problem in the Netherlands, with 4 out of 10 people being overweight. As someone pointed out on a Dutch website, lower class people often don't bother to cook, spend more money eating out and in general, rely on more expensive but less nutritious fast foods which may contribute to the problem.
Well, it appears that the Baroness actually spent some time researching the issue as she was a part to a parliamentary inquiry on hunger in UK, which among other things, stated that some parents would rather spend their money on alcohol, cigarettes and takeaways and lacked basic budgeting skills. In other words, some of those saintly "poor people" who are more often than not on welfare, couldn't be bothered to cook a decent meal for their children and preferred getting drunk to buying nutritious food.
Now, I'm not a saint myself and I do enjoy my glass of wine with dinner and we regularly eat out and order takeouts sometimes, when I had no time to cook a proper meal. However, it's still more an exception than a rule in our household, and what is more important, we can afford it! Now, I don't want to underestimate the plight of genuinely poor people like our elderly and sick who can't pay their medical bills any more, and poverty is a problem in Europe, however if some "poor people" are suffering from being overweight and obesity and would rather buy alcohol than food for their kids, we are obviously having a problem.
Which solution was offered by the British investigation committee? Well, as usual, more of the nanny statism. It's apparently the duty of schools to teach children to cook and the government should restore the welfare state in its fullest glory (who is going to pay for it wasn't mentioned). They did mention parental responsibility, though, so there are some signs of progress.
Since I don't live in UK, I can't state with any certainty that the Baroness is 100 % right on everything but I do know one thing: cooking from scratch IS cheaper and healthier. If you want to save money, learn how to cook!