Tory MEP Giles Chichester insists poverty is self-inflicted

Today, I saw an outrageous response from a South West Conservative MEP to what I consider a very polite letter from one of his constituents.
The letter was written by Paul Rooke (!/paulrooke10) and I have included it below:
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter to you.
I am extremely concerned that today nearly 4 million children are living in poverty in the UK (after housing costs) and this figure looks set to rise significantly with the unfair austerity measures and cuts being forced on us at the moment.

I’m sure you will agree that Parents unable to feed their children is one of the starkest examples of the squeeze on living standards faced by many British families. Surely as a proud, intelligent, resourceful Nation we can collectively muster up enough political & community will to tackle and eradicate this very shameful issue, or at the very least start to make a significant dent in it? This is not an issue of Left or right wing politics as I believe it is possible for us all to work & co-exist together. This is more the case of us all failing in one way or another to get the basics right and we have been failing in this regard for far too long already. Britain is the seventh richest nation in the world yet we face a growing epidemic of hidden hunger, particularly in children. I refuse to believe that we can’t do better. We must do better. Can you help? I hope so, because this problem screams out to be addressed.
Thank you again and I look forward to hearing from you.Kind regards,

Paul Rooke.

As you can see, Paul was merely expressing his extreme concern that there is a hidden crisis of poverty in the UK, with children going hungry. It is a concern that I share, and believe that politicians from across the political divide can unite in an attempt to prevent this from continuing.

However, Giles Chichester MEP seems to feel differently as his letter in response has demonstrated:
Mr Chichester immediately forms the opinion that mismanagement by the parents is the only major cause of financial hardship or poverty in this country. As a result of this mismanagement, it seems that he is to abdicate his responsibility to lobby on behalf of his constituents to help resolve this issue. Giles Chichester MEP believes that individuals who are in poverty only have themselves to blame. In this letter, he also seems to make a snide comment to Paul by assuming that he “wants to throw other people’s money at it”.
Isn’t this typical? From a letter simply asking the MEP’s to take this problem seriously and devote some time and energy to helping bring about a change to reduce and potentially eradicate poverty, a Conservative MEP dismisses the issue of poverty as “self-inflicted”, and should anyone want to try to prevent poverty they become accused of “spending other people’s money”.
It is important to remember that this is the same Giles Chichester MEP, who was forced to stand down as Leader of the Conservatives In Europe in 2008, amid a six figure scandal involving his expenses. A report from the Telegraph is here:
I am sure that his constituents are reassured that he can make such assertions about poverty, when he was alleged to have paid over £400,000 into a family owned firm, of which he was a paid director. This is obviously what he means by “managing your finances properly”.

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