Welsh Tory MP says people in poverty should rely on one another as the state can’t help everyone
A Welsh Conservative MP has suggested that people living in poverty should help each other as the UK Government can’t help everyone cope with the cost of living crisis.
Aberconwy MP Robin Millar made the remarks came in response to a question by Yahoo News UK on what the role the state has during the cost-of-living crisis.
Speaking at a discussion about poverty at the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, he said that the state “can’t catch everything” and there is “a huge importance in… [making sure we] don’t tell people who are in a disadvantaged state that they can’t help other people”.
“When I’ve worked in some poor communities, it’s been very important for them to be able to help one another,” he said. “And this is important when we think of the state being the last resort.
“What that assumes is that we’re all passive recipients of benefits or goodness… the state [should not steamroller] the individual human dignity that comes with helping others around us.”
That could also mean that food banks were not “philosophically” a bad thing as they allowed people to help each other, he said. Aberconwy has “multiple food banks” and that it had been “quite inspirational” to see them working during the pandemic, he said.
“Frequently, we’re told: ‘There are food banks, that’s a damning indictment of the government’,” he said.
“But there’s a philosophical question there – about what is the balance of the role of community [versus]… state-led intervention.”
Robin Millar was one of the new intake of MPs elected at the 2019 General Election. He won the seat previously held by Conservative Guto Bebb who lost his whip due to his opposition to Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal. He has a majority of 2,034.
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