More than 1.5 million poor children over the age of eight lose out on free school meals because their parents are in work, a leading anti-poverty campaigner reveals today.They ain’t free. We, the taxpayer, are paying for them. Money spent on this is not available for something else.
Labour MP Frank Field told The Independent that research by his office had uncovered that parents in receipt of working tax credits no longer qualify for free school meals, even if their income is below the eligibility threshold of £16,190 a year.Which is a given, when you set up a maze of requirements and eligibility criteria for handing someone money back.
Why not simply not tax them so much (or at all) in the first place?
“One and a half million poor children are being punished by the system because their parents are working for their poverty,” said Mr Field.
“As well as trying to cover their rent and utilities, these families are told that they must somehow find huge sums in their budget to make sure their children get a decent meal at lunchtime.
“The clear message given to poor parents is that it doesn’t pay to work – the total opposite to government rhetoric.”Actually, the message it should be sending is: ‘You breed ‘em, you’ll have to feed ‘em..’
For all families.