Our reaction to the Conservative's manifesto commitments

The Conservatives manifesto

The Food Foundation welcomes aspects of the Conservative party's manifesto, launched by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak during an event at Silverstone racetrack yesterday.

Headlines include a renewed commitment to delayed restrictions on junk food advertising and a proposal for a legally binding target to enhance the UK's food security.

Our Executive Director Anna Taylor said: "The Conservative Party manifesto includes some positive policies to improve our food system, including a renewed commitment to their delayed restrictions on junk food advertising and a commitment to ensure half of all food expenditure in public procurement is spent on food produced locally or to higher environmental standards.

"The proposal for a legally binding target to enhance the UK’s food security could offer a framework to more widely improve our food system, but without any details of this, this manifesto does not offer the systemic change needed to ensure everybody in the UK can access a healthy and sustainable diet.

"While the Conservative manifesto boasts that "Free School Meals have been extended to more groups of children than under any other government over the past half a century”, there is no mention of expanding provision to the 900,000 children who are currently living in poverty in England but who still do not qualify.

"Nor is there any mention of other policies to directly tackle poor diets and hunger among  children in our society.

"We are also very concerned by the Conservative’s proposals to further reduce benefits payments. Food Foundation data shows that food insecurity is substantially higher in households in receipt of Universal Credit, standing at 45%.

"Households with a disabled adult were 3.6 times more likely to experience food insecurity compared to a household with adults who were not disabled.

"To reduce poverty and food insecurity, we need to ensure that benefits are sufficient to meet rising food costs and cover basic needs.

"If the next government is serious about reducing the number of people in receipt of support because they cannot work, action is needed to improve the population’s health.

"With diet now the leading cause of avoidable illness in the UK, making it easier and more affordable to eat a healthy diet is a huge part of that."


Meanwhile, our Food Ambassador Penny Walters, said: "Parties need to realise we are on the bones of our backsides.

"All the services have been cut and cut again till there is virtually nothing left.

"Instead, we are told to get volunteers to do it, which I know as a volunteer for The Bread and Butter Thing, an organisation running food clubs for people who are struggling.

"And people with disabilities aren’t a drain on society. They are trying their best to have a life which isn’t easy. It is shocking that in this day and age 38% of households with an adult limited a lot by disability experienced food insecurity.

"Uncap child family allowance, pay disability money to those who need it, we shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to live."

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  • We'll be reviewing the manifestos of the other main parties as they are released so keep an eye on our social media channels for updates.

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