I was stood waiting to be served in a local corner shop , the young lady in front of me pulled out an envelope full of vouchers, I had a little nosey as you do, they were Healthy Start vouchers.
Healthy Start vouchers are given to those on benefits , if pregnant or have children under the age of 4. Also for to those who are under the age of 18 and pregnant.
They are a great incentive for mums to be to eat healthy during pregnancy and gives those mums a helping hand to get the fruit and vegetables into the little ones. All in all a great idea. It also enables the purchase of baby formula milk and fresh milk.
The lady in question asked for cigarettes, the man behind the counter took 2 vouchers from her and scanned them, popped them into the till.The lady walked out.
I was shocked. Why was this shop taking vouchers meant for milk, fruit and vegetables and exchanging them for payment for cigarettes?
I have to say I would be ashamed if I bought cigarettes with vouchers meant for my children’s benefit. This mum may well have already done her weekly shop and had a fruit bowl brimming to the top and milk in the fridge, but to buy cigarettes with the remaining vouchers? Could they not go to better use? Even buy more fruit as a gift to a friend with children?
I have nothing against helping those on a low income, I feel using the vouchers for their correct means is a fantastic idea. To abuse them this way, in my opinion is wrong.
- New mothers swap fruit vouchers for booze and cigarettes (telegraph.co.uk)
What are your views ?