School meals: Cabinet minister defends rejection to extend holiday scheme

 School meals: Cabinet minister defends rejection to extend holiday scheme


image copyright PA Media

image caption Some services will be providing totally free food bags for kids throughout half term

The government’s decision not to extend free school meals for children in England into the half-term vacation has been defended by a cabinet minister.

Brandon Lewis applauded footballer Marcus Rashford for his “extraordinary” project, but insisted providing assistance through councils was “properly to do it”.

Pressure is mounting on the federal government to reverse its choice.

Several Tory MPs oppose the relocation and Labour want a new vote, saying: “It’s not too late to do the ideal thing.”

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 paediatricians have signed a letter stating England ought to follow Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in offering vouchers for meals during the vacations.

The government extended complimentary school meals to qualified children throughout the Easter vacations previously this year and, after a project by Rashford, did the same for the summer season vacation.

However this time it has actually declined to do so. More than 800,000 individuals have actually signed Rashford’s petition requiring arrangement to continue in the vacations, and the PM is dealing with calls to satisfy the 22- year-old striker to go over the issue.

‘ The right way to do it’

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Northern Ireland Secretary Mr Lewis stated “a couple of things” had actually altered given that complimentary school meals were supplied in the holidays during the first wave of the pandemic.

He said the majority of schools are now open, and the federal government had actually increased Universal Credit along with assigned ₤63 m to regional authorities.

” We have actually put the uplift into universal credit, simply over ₤1000 a year. Also really particularly we’ve put ₤63 m into local authorities to support and assist people in challenge … and a number of regional authorities are utilizing it to do exactly that,” he said.

” We’ve put that assistance in there and I believe that’s the right way to do it because the schools aren’t open so it’s making certain that the well-being system can put the support in, targeted where it’s required most.”

Some councils have actually assured to supply meal vouchers for children dealing with difficulty.

image caption” You have actually got to find that main meal for the kids and I believe individuals battle.”

One mother, whose kids received free school meals during the vacations, stated: “We would not have actually survived without it.

” You worry a lot about ensuring they have actually got enough food for

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Redak staff

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