Just give them cash: a solution to the free school meal box row

The pandemic has not been kind on either libertarians or people in poverty. The libertarian argument that the state should generally leave people alone to make their own choices has not often succeeded as government, largely backed by the electorate, has chosen to respond to a collective risk with collective action, even if some of that action is compelled. For people on low incomes, Covid-19 has meant more economic hardship and an increased chance of death. It has also meant that their children are more likely to go hungry. At the Social Market Foundation, we reckon 16 per cent of children – nearly two million – went short of food last