Sweeping cuts to school meal eligibility have been waved through in a Commons vote.

Nobody will lose a free school meal because of the changes to Universal Credit. That’s what the Tories said.

They said the change would make more people eligible.

Numerically, that is accurate.

But it doesn’t mean nobody will lose out.

The truth is exactly as was stated at the time the change was introduced – 160,000 vulnerable pupils will lose free school meals.

The fact that 210,000 others will gain them does not make this fact any less unpalatable.

Tens of thousands of poorer kids will find free school meals swiped from their plates under the Tories’ flagship welfare shake-up.

The ongoing rollout of Universal Credit will see 160,000 children – one in eight who received the handout through the old system – denied the hot lunch after the switch, according to experts.

Only youngsters from families on UC with net earnings below £7,400 a year will get free school meals.

IFS [Institute for Fiscal Studies] research economist Tom Waters said: “The change in the structure of the benefits system inherent in Universal Credit … creates a substantial number of losers, but also a greater number of winners, with children of lone parents and of working parents especially likely to gain entitlement.”

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: “Ministers claimed time and time again that nobody would lose a meal under their plans, but the IFS have revealed that one in eight children who were eligible before Universal Credit could find their meals taken away once the Tories’ plans are imposed in full.”

Source: 160,000 children set to be denied free school meals under Tory welfare shake-up – Mirror Online


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