Free school meals and Universal Credit in Wales - consultation response

Our full response to the Welsh Government’s consultation on their proposal to change the eligibility criteria for free school meals under Universal Credit. We are extremely concerned that 55,000 children living in poverty in Wales will continue to miss out on a free school meal as a result of the Welsh Government's proposal. Had Universal Credit continued to roll out under existing rules in Wales then most of these children would have received the benefits of a free school meal once rollout is complete. The proposal also creates a serious 'cliff edge' poverty trap that completely undermines Universal Credit's core objective of ensuring 'work always pays'. This could trap families in a situation where working more hours would make them worse off overall once the value of losing free school meals is taken into account.

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Iain Porter
Policy and lobbying
Related reports 
Briefing on free school meals and Universal Credit

Briefing on free school meals and Universal Credit

Short briefing on Government proposals to change eligibility for free school meals under Universal Credit.

Date published 
January 2018
Number of pages 

Fair and Square - a policy report on the future of free school meals

Free school meals are a key benefit for low income families, ensuring that children in these families get a healthy lunch at school and easing the strain on tight family budgets.

Date published 
January 2012
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