WEST Dorset MP Chris Loder has explained why he voted against the motion to provide free school meals over the holidays and has said he is “moved by the level of community response to support others”.
On his website, he has responded to accusations that he wants children in West Dorset to starve as “nothing could be further from the truth”.
He explained the Opposition Day motion – which allows the opposition to make political points – was not a vote about a legislative bill that could have helped children living in poverty, it was non-binding and if MPs had voted for it “this would not have changed anything”.
He also outlined how government is supporting families through the Covid Summer Food Fund, providing meals support for families in need during school holidays, financial support of £1.3million given to Dorset Council earlier this month to help vulnerable families, extra Universal Credit and the Schools Breakfast Programme.
Mr Loder said: “I know full well that we have child poverty here in West Dorset. Before becoming an MP, I myself raised thousands of pounds to help support families in need. I also know that many charities and schools do much to help. Our welfare support mechanisms should be, and are, helping with this.
“So, in response to those who say I want children in west Dorset to starve or I don’t believe in helping them – nothing could be further from the truth. If the welfare system needs to be changed or improved, I shall be very pleased to push for these reforms.
“I shall do so based on the experiences of those constituents who tell me the system is not working for them and their families; rather than on the view of others who have simply followed politically-motivated headlines.
“I am moved, once again, by the level of community response to support others. It does, in itself, speak so highly of what our communities and businesses are willing to do – as indeed they have stepped up to do throughout the crisis.”
To read Chris Loder’s full statement, visit his website.