Austria Chancellor's solution to poor families: McDonald's burgers
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer sparks controversy with remarks suggesting low-income parents should buy McDonald's burgers for their children to avoid hunger, drawing criticism for insensitivity and health implications.
Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has faced criticism following the release of video footage in which he suggested that low-income parents should buy their children McDonald's burgers.
In the footage, Nehammer talks about poverty before complaining about how child hunger is portrayed in the media.
"So what does it mean that a child doesn't get a hot meal in Austria? Do you know what the cheapest hot meal in Austria is? It's not healthy, but it's cheap: a hamburger at McDonald's — €1.40, if I buy fries with it, €3.50. Now someone is seriously claiming that we live in a country where parents can't afford this meal for their child," he asserted in the video, which was filmed during a wine-and-cheese event near Salzburg.
"If I have too little money, I go to work more," he said further adding to his controversial statements.
According to Politico, burgers that cost this much contain only 250 calories, which speaks to how out of touch the Chancellor's comments were.
"From a common sense perspective, obviously it is the worst health advice that you could give to anybody and definitely to children. Because children cannot really protect themselves from impacts of unhealthy food choices," Dorota Sienkiewicz, policy manager of EuroHealthNet, said.
The President of Caritas Austria, Michael Landau, called out the Chancellor for his condescending remarks saying that even though Asutrians "drew a jackpot in the birthplace lottery," there are still people who go hungry and freeze, adding that anyone who says otherwise "has no idea about the reality of the people."
Nehammer later doubled down on his statements and defended his government's support for low-income families refusing to issue an apology, saying, "I stand by the idea that performance must be rewarded and I stand by the fact that parents have a duty of care for their children."