Statement on Free School Meals

My understanding is that no child on the Isle of Wight has had their free school meals entitlement changed because Universal credit has not been rolled out here for claimants with children.

However, generally the new Universal Credit system is more generous than the old benefits system it is replacing and 50,000 more children will be eligible for free school meals by 2022. This makes a mockery of Labour’s claims.

The fact is no one currently receiving free school meals under Universal Credit will lose them – something else Labour has not highlighted. The measure is for future means testing of UC claimants and the Government never said the policy of allowing everyone on UC the right to free school meals would be a permanent measure.

So, it is simply not the case the Government is taking away free school meals from one million children who are currently receiving them and this is a key point.

The one million figure from the Children’s Society is hypothetical and comes from a misinformed calculation where all children in receipt of Universal Credit receive free school meals, which was never the intention.

Here is a link to Channel 4 News which outlines the changes: