Letter: Malnutrition due to bad budgeting

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The Independent Online
Sir: There may well be some evidence of malnutrition in Britain, as the Rev Paul Nicolson maintains (Letters, 28 November), but his suggestion that this is due to inadequate Income Support is a political, rather than a factual argument.

For a single person, social security benefit of pounds 50 a week on top of housing expenses is sufficient to buy food and other essentials (students frequently manage on less). Similarly, a couple with two children should be able to manage on pounds 119 of Income Support plus housing costs without children or parents going without meals.

Nutritious food is available cheaply in supermarkets. On Monday we had three friends round for dinner; the cost of our meal of garlic and herb chicken pieces, brussels, carrots and roast potatoes followed by apple pie and cream came to less than pounds 1.50 per head.

It is not levels of Income Support that need to be addressed by the poverty lobby but the misallocation of these resources on non-essentials like tobacco, alcohol and the purchase of lottery tickets.


Eastbourne, East Sussex