Around 25 volunteers attended the session to discuss ‘what is poverty?’ The Liberal Democrat MP, who is also a minister in the Department for International Development, gave a talk on her experiences visiting Africa and witnessing extreme poverty there.
The talk was followed by a questions session, chaired by the Soup Kitchen founder Martin Stone. During the session, the local MP agreed with the volunteers that there was a need to tackle poverty in the UK, and highlighted measures taken by the Liberal Democrats to help alleviate poverty here.
These include raising the personal tax allowance, which takes thousands of low paid and part-time workers out of paying tax altogether, and the introduction of free school meals for all infant school pupils.
Lynne Featherstone MP commented:
“It was a pleasure to meet with the dedicated soup kitchen volunteers, to discuss the important issue of tackling and alleviating poverty – at home and abroad.
“In my ministerial role, I have witnessed acute and devastating poverty in Africa. Through the Department for International Development, aid, support and education are provided to those most in need.
“Though, poverty is of course relative to the society in which you live, and there are also people in this country who struggle to buy enough food or keep a roof over their head. Both of these issues must be tackled.
“That’s why, in the UK, the Lib Dems have taken measures like raising the personal allowance, giving mid – low paid workers an £800 tax cut. Hundreds of thousands of part-time and low-paid workers have been taken out of paying tax altogether.
“I’m always happy to discuss these issues with local residents. The work Martin Stone does at the soup kitchen is just fantastic, and I’d like to thank him for giving me the opportunity to speak to the volunteers.”