'Why is it our responsibility to pay for children in poverty?' Guest fumes at benefit claimants in heated debate

'Why is it our responsibility to pay for children in poverty?' Guest fumes at benefit claimants in heated debate

Izzy Montague and Mike Buckley debate the UK's benefits system

GB News
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 03/10/2023

- 10:29

Updated: 03/10/2023

- 14:07

Izzy Montague claimed 'parents are just not responsible' for children in poverty

Former Labour adviser Mike Buckley and Medical Clinician Izzy Montague became embroiled in a heated debate on the UK's benefit system, following Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's pledge to crack down on people abusing the system.

Hunt also confirmed that the National Living Wage will rise to at least £11 an hour from next year.

Jeremy Hunt told the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester: "Around 100,000 people are leaving the labour market every year for a life on benefits.

"Mel Stride gets this 100 per cent, which is why he's replacing the Work Capability Assessment. And we're going to look at the way the sanctions regime works. It isn't fair that someone who refuses to look seriously for a job gets the same as someone trying their best."

Jeremy Hunt delivers speech during the Conservative Party annual conference in Manchester

Jeremy Hunt announced a crackdown on benefit 'shirkers' at the Conservative Party Conference


Speaking on Breakfast with Eamonn and Isabel, the guests clashed on the Government's planned crackdown and the current state of the benefits system.

Presenter Eamonn Holmes asked Montague: "Have you ever lived off benefits?"

Montague replied: "No, I haven't. I've always been brought up with the principles to work and to be able to provide. And if you don't work then obviously there's certain things that you would have to do. We have to make sacrifices.

"I think it's this people politics that I don't like, this kind of grouping everybody together, not everybody who claims benefits are the same. There is this kind of understanding that the government is responsible for everybody on benefits and everybody who claims and that's simply not true."

Montague continued: "We need to go back to the understanding that we as an individual have to take some responsibility to claim, there's so many children in poverty but where is the personal responsibility? Where is the responsibility of the parent? Why is it the government’s responsibility to look after so many of these children in poverty.

"We do have to break down the system. We have to look at the benefit system because at this moment in time, parents are just not responsible. And then it's this idea that, well, if the government is paying for the children, then the government can also tell you what to do with your children and it's just wrong.

"We need to teach families how to look after your own family. Your own children need to bring back the standard, the structure of family stability. You, the mum and father are responsible for raising the children, going out to work.

"Maybe mothers in the home, I’m a strong supporter that mothers should be in the home looking after the children. And we know we need fathers to be able to provide."

Izzy Montague and Mike Buckley appear on GB News

Mike Buckley and Izzy Montague debate the UK's benefit system and those 'abusing it'

GB News

Buckley then hit back as Montague's response, disagreeing with her comments: "“Well, I wasn't entirely clear on what Izzy was suggesting, but one minute she seems to be suggesting that everybody should go out to work and the next minute she was suggesting that women should be stuck in the house and taking care of children. And I think maybe Izzy wants to be clearer on what she wants.

"But her central premise that parents should be taught to take care of their kids. I don't think for a minute that these people living in poverty and not trying to take care of their kids. Of course they are. That's their number one responsibility. And I mean you probably the same as I have you know seen interviews in recent months. You've read news stories in recent months with parents saying, you know, I'm only once a day, so that can feed my kids or I'm only having like 2 meals a day, three days a week so that I can feed my kids.

"Parents are making terrible, terrible choices because of the poverty they're in because benefits aren't paying enough. Often actually these are people who were also in work and doing one or two zero hours jobs or very low rate, low paid jobs so that they can do the best that they can to feed their kids.

They're often in circumstances that, to be fair, all of us on this call have never experienced and almost certainly never will experience.”

You may like