The ongoing row about the provision of free school meals for those in need during the holidays highlights the growing problem of poverty in our society.

Why in such a rich country are children going hungry? A fifth of the population are forced to live under the poverty line in the UK.

The Covid-19 pandemic has made these divisions all the more visible. It has been the poorest areas of the country that have been most severely ravaged by the disease.

When a couple of months ago Leicester was locked down due to a high level of infections, one of the major causes was found to be sweated labour in part of the area.

The casualisation of work has seen things like zero hours contracts become prevalent in the UK, especially in the care sector.

The employee is put in a weak position, forced to accept the work when offered, or not get paid.

So, the idea of taking days off (to maybe isolate) becomes unlikely.

Epping Forest Guardian:

In-work poverty has become commonplace in the UK's service sector economy. People not being paid enough to get by, bad employers being propped up with tax credits.

This is the terrain over which the pandemic has run rampant.

A terrain where over a number of years a few people have grown very rich to the cost of everyone else. A country that boasts 150 plus billionaires but has millions going to foodbanks.

People have given generously to food banks but these are sticking plasters on a moribund system.

There has to be fundamental change in our society with a shift of wealth from rich to poor. People need secure, properly paid work and well funded public services for all. This will be a big ask, post pandemic, given the deficit resulting from the amount spent in keeping society afloat. There will no doubt be those determined to impose austerity, once again on the poorest and most vulnerable - this must be opposed.

There is an opportunity to create a new, more equal and just world. It was done after the Second World War and can be done again, given the will of the people for fundamental change.