'I have not given to a food bank personally,' admits Chancellor Sajid Javid while on the campaign trail in South Yorkshire
The Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid has admitted he has never donated to a food bank after being questioned on the general election campaign trail in Rother Valley.
Mr Javid was in Dinnington with Conservative candidate Alex Stafford and spoke about the economy, austerity, social care and Brexit.
When asked about food banks Mr Javid said: “I have not given to a foodbank personally.
“I don’t want to see food banks anywhere in Britain or any country. The way to reduce poverty is to make sure we keep a growing economy that creates jobs.
“We want enough opportunities so no matter where you live in this country, there’s enough opportunities for everyone. We are on the side of businesses, creating highly paid and highly skilled jobs.”
Mr Javid was asked whether previous Chancellors George Osborne should have made such deep cuts with austerity and whether Phillip Hammond should have ended it sooner.
“What we talk about with austerity is the government having to reduce the economy so we can start growing again and being on the side of businesses.
“Going back to 2010 we had to take action to repair the huge damage that the Labour government had done.
“Every Labour government has left us with an economic crisis and we worked hard with people to repair it, otherwise we would be paying a much heavier price.”
Mr Javid was keen to mention Brexit, which has a key thrust of the Conservative’s campaign.
“We have more people employed today and the lowest unemployment rates, including in South Yorkshire, and that’s good.
“I want to see people have more money in their pockets and to do that we need to get Brexit done and keep the economy strong so we can continue to invest.
“In seats that have been traditionally Labour we are getting a lot of people that want to get Brexit done and they are not interested in a second referendum.
“Rother Valley will be a tough fight and will be very close but it’s possible for us to take a seat like this.”
He called in just one shop in the precinct on Laughton Road and spoke to Tammy Cox, of Dinnington Pet and Garden Centre, who said she would be voting Conservative for the first time.
She said: “I think I’m probably going to go Conservative, my boss is Conservative as well. I didn’t even really look into Brexit and didn’t vote and now I wish I had looked into it.”
Local authority social care budgets have been hit particularly hard by austerity and Mr Javid said he had a three point plan.
“Certainly there needs to be more funding and in the recent spending round in September we put £1.5 billion in, with another £1 billlion extra each year.
“We also need a long term solution to find the best way forward. People want to see a consensus between the major parties and see something they can rely on. We have to have a long term agreement like we have with the NHS.
“And we don’t think it is right that anyone that needs social care should feel they have to sell their home.”
The candidates for Rother Valley are:
Allen Cowles – Brexit Party
Nigel Short – Independent
Alexander Stafford – Conservatives
Colin Taylor – Liberal Democrats
Emily West – Green Party
Sophie Wilson – Labour