Monday, 1 March 2021

All Poor Children in the UK Deserve a Healthy Start?

Another embarassment. An 11 month-old baby and her mother are bringing a high court case against the UK government to secure the former's right to free vitamins, formula milk and a healthy diet (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/mar/01/lawyers-to-argue-for-mother-and-babys-right-to-healthy-start-in-uk). Even the UK government seems to agree (it's a bit 'motherhood and apple pie') that child poverty and health inequality need to be reduced. They introduced a 'Healthy Start' programme to help achieve these aims. Illogically, under Home Office rules, some of the UK's poorest children are excluded from the programme. Children, whose parents are from migrant backgrounds, cannot benefit from 'Healthy Start'. This applies even, if the children are British and their parents have the right to live and work in the UK. These parents can't claim mainstream benefits. Receipt of the benefits, acts as a 'trigger' for access to the 'Healthy Start' scheme. The lasting effects of a poor early diet will cost the child and the country dear. Poverty, rather than parent's origins, should determine who is placed on 'Healthy Start'.

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Seeing the Changes 1537

Shining cranesbill ( Geranium lucidum ) in flower in Bynea.