Over the last few days the Tories have made claims and The Children’s Society’s position on free school meals. They’ve claimed that we’re “scaremongering” and accused us of spinning the numbers.
But it’s not us that are filled with spin: it’s them.
Here’s the truth behind the Tories claims.
Heidi Allen MP: “I’m disappointed at the Children’s Society. Its suggestion that one million children could lose free school meals is simply not true”
Under the regulations which the Government pushed, one million children will miss out for free school meals.
Here’s why: currently, there is a transitional coverage in place, meaning that all families getting Universal Credit are eligible for free school meals. The eligibility has changed. By April 2018, any family will have to be making less than #7,400 in order to qualify for free school meals.
The Children’s Society was advised that their million figure is supposedly wrong as it is founded on a premise that never existed, as the Authorities never intended to roll out the transitional policy.
But this is about more than adhering to policies pledges what; that is about doing what’s fair and right to children which are living in poverty, now and always.
The truth is, is that had the Government continued with the policy that in place, one million children in poverty would have access to school meals later on.
This point is as important as ensuring that children from the poorest families are guarded now. When the Tories continued together with the policy that is transitional could be eligible for a free school meal by the time.
Now, because the Tories pushed, they may not have the ability to access a free, hot meal.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey MP: “No kid who currently receives foods [will] lose their sanity”
In their consultation on the eligibility for free school meals, the Department for Education stated that while they anticipate the majority of students currently eligible for free school meals to remain so they understand around 10 percent will lose their eligibility.
McVey’s promise that those in receipt of free school meals could be afforded protection isn’t correct.
On the Secretary of State for Education, Damian Hinds MP claim that there’ll be approximately 50,000 more children who will benefit from a free school meal, there are two major points to consider.
This is a prediction from the Department for Education for its year 2022; the entire year when Universal Credit is fully rolled out. It doesn’t signify that there will suddenly be tens of thousands more children eligible for free school meals this year.
The Department have refused to demonstrate how they have worked this out, thus there is simply no way to check its accuracy.
The Children’s Commissioner has released a briefing on free school meals which argues that under almost any scenario, countless thousands of thousands and possibly well more than a million children living in poverty have been not getting free school meals and the educational and health advantages they bring.
The point remains: the Conservatives are not doing enough to support kids to access free school meals also it is a downright lie to allow them to suggest.
Perhaps if they put as much effort in to hiding behind technicalities and helping children as they do spinning figures, no kid would remain hungry.
Angela Rayner is the shadow education secretary and Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Droylsden and Failsworth