Nick Ferrari has been criticised for saying that parents who cannot afford to buy their children a toothbrush should not have children.
The broadcaster, made the comments during his weekday radio breakfast show on LBC in response to new research that revealed four out of five teachers in the UK have given oral hygiene products to students.
“If you are a mum and, or a dad, and you haven’t got money to buy your child a toothbrush, you should never have become a parent in the first place," Ferrari said on Monday, February 6.
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However, one listener - Mandy from St Albans - called in after Ferrari's controversial take to express her disagreement and share her personal experience from working at a local food bank.
“I don't think any of us anticipated the rising costs,” she explained. "I work at my local food bank. We’re seeing people turn up who can’t afford food at the moment so of course they normally would have been able to buy a toothbrush."
To which Ferrari then interrupted and asked Mandy “how much do you think a toothbrush is, have a guess?” and she replied: “About a quid?”.
“No no no, I can get you two for 25p in Asda,” Ferrari said and added: "Now if you're telling me if you're honestly asking me to believe that parents cannot shell out 25p for toothbrushes they're spending their money in the wrong way."
The caller then claimed people can’t afford the “energy” to go and get a toothbrush.
“I tell you what if you can’t afford the energy to make sure your child has a toothbrush you really need to look to yourself, Mandy,” he concluded.
Ferrari's comment have caused a stir online, as Carol Vorderman hit back, sharing how she grew up in poverty and described the radio host's language as "humiliating."
"I grew up in poverty & language like this is humiliating," she said.
"My Mum (3 kids & 5 part time jobs) could only afford 1 tub of hot water/week. Sunday night a few inches of hot water in the bath & we'd take it in turns to wash quickly. No money for heating/clothes but she was a great Mum."
While others noted how parents cannot predict their financial situation nor foresee political or financial events that may impact their cost of living.
Pregnant Then Screwed's Joeli Brearley also expressed how parents facing financial hardship shouldn't be blamed.
"This hatred directed at parents who live in poverty is really unsettling," Brearley wrote in an Instagram post.
"Direct your energy into changing the systems that force parents to live on the breadline and perhaps you could create some really positive change - but I don’t think you’re interested in that are you Mr Ferrari? No, you’re much more interested in clicks and attention because your massive ego demands it."
Meanwhile, Sali Hughes who co-founded Beauty Banks, a social movement to fight hygiene poverty has launched The Tooth Hurts campaign with the British Dental Association to help combat the dental crisis for kids in poverty.
In a tweet, Hughes shared a link where people can help: "Beauty Banks’ campaign, The Tooth Hurts, in partnership with the BDA, began today, on the dental crisis for kids in poverty. Here is Nick Ferrari’s take on it. If you disagree with him and with children’s health suffering through poverty, You can help via http://Beautybanks.org.uk ."
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