Lords call on government to re-think free school meals cuts

Ministers are being urged to re-think plans to cut free school meals in England after a defeat in the House of Lords. The Huffington Post reports.

Peers backed a motion tabled by Labour’s Steve Bassam on Tuesday evening, which calls on the government to delay implementing changes to its free school meals policy until a full impact assessment is carried out.  

Charities and other campaigners claim that the welfare reforms tied to universal credit would see up to a million children denied eligibility for free lunches if the changes are rolled out nationwide.  

Bassm said he was “delighted” with the 167-160 vote in his favour. 

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said she was “extremely happy” with the result. 

Labour has called on the government to halt the proposals – which do not apply in Northern Ireland, therefore protecting constituencies represented by the Democratic Unionist Party from the curbs.

“The next Labour government will extend childcare provision and provide free school meals for all primary school children.”

Rayner added that Labour’s pressure, the Conservatives had now been forced to delay closing the childcare vouchers scheme for at least another six months. 

Read more plus video of Angela Rayner discussing the cuts. Lords call on government to re-think free school meals cuts

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