Anger as Conservative businessman suggests nurses who use food banks ‘are not working hard enough’

Are working people who use food banks “not working hard enough”?

A debate on the subject of working people using food banks was prompted by a terse exchange in a popular Devon Facebook group.

Prominent Conservative businessman Philip Milton appeared to suggest nurses who use food banks “are not working hard enough” in the group Ilfracombe Political Chatter.

Mr Milton, a wealth manager from Ilfracombe, has since explained his comment was directed at one person in particular and was meant as “banter”, he went on to praise the work done by food banks.

Food being sorted at a Devon Food Bank

After posting a link to the Conservative Party Facebook page about economic growth and stating Ilfracombe “has done even better than the national economy”, he got embroiled in a heated exchange with Labour Party activist and local business owner Simon Scott.

During the lengthy debate Mr Milton told Mr Scott: “How many nurses aside from students have used food banks Simon? And if your wife has… it is because you are not working hard enough!”

Mr Milton’s comments on Facebook

He then posted a link to a Daily Record story with the headline: ‘Foodbank’ nurse who put Nicola Sturgeon on spot in TV debate pictured enjoying lavish trip to New York.

Mr Scott replied: “To understand an issue doesn’t mean you have to be affected by it. Thankfully we have not had to use a Food bank.

“It is a fact that nurses do use them as a demonstration of the situation we as a country are in.”

Food being sorted at a Devon Food Bank

Devon Live contacted Mr Scott this week for his take on the exchange and Mr Milton’s comments on people “not working hard enough”, he said: “I think Philip’s stance is a typical Tory party line, it just shows how out of touch they are, this type of attitude can be traced back to Margaret Thatcher.

“Her words were ‘If you are cold then knit a jumper’, directed at people who couldn’t afford to put there heating on.

“My wife is a nurse and we have not used the food bank, however with over 1.4 million food parcels given out last year this is a growing issue and poverty is starting to creep in and affect the employed.

“The local food bank in Ilfracombe is doing a fantastic job, there needs to be more collection points around the area. I would go as far to say every shop selling food should have a collection point at the till.”

After receiving a cheque for £500 from Ilfracombe Lions…

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