No child should go hungry at school

Tory MP Paul Maynard urged by Labour to vote against his Government’s plans to leave Blackpool and Lancashire of 23,900 poorest children without a free school meal.

Chris Webb in Blackpool North and Cleveleys has written to Paul Maynard MP urging him to put Blackpool and Lancashire’s poorest children before Party loyalty next week, by voting against a Government plan to impose an income threshold on families currently receiving universal credit.


The policy, which the Government sought to sneak through without a vote, will mean over 23,900 of Blackpool and Lancashire’s children, many growing up in poverty, will not be able to access a free school meal, according to the Children’s Society. The charity estimates it could affect over a million children across the country.


For some children, this could literally mean the difference between eating a hot meal that day or going hungry.


As part of the same measure, the government is also planning to remove free childcare from those earning above the threshold.


For those Blackpool and Lancashire’s families that are affected, the income threshold will create a cliff-edge, meaning some parents could be better off either reducing their hours, or not taking additional hours or pay rises, because moving just above the income threshold would leave them worse off. This directly undermines the Government’s stated aim of Universal Credit, to make work pay.


The Government’s plans to restrict free school meals and free childcare will be brought to the Commons next week, following an intervention from Labour to bring these heartless and short-sighted plans to a binding vote.


Chris Webb, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Blackpool North and Cleveleys, has written to Paul Maynard MP, calling on him to vote the plans down. Speaking about the Government plans, Chris Webb said:


“The Tories are trying to leave over a million children without access to free school meals, that’s potentially 23,900 in our area alone.


“If Paul Maynard votes to literally take hot dinners away from the children of his constituents, I don’t know how he will be able to hold his head high in our town.


“The vote on Tuesday gives him an opportunity to show just whose side he is on; the poorest children in his constituency, or this Tory government imposing heartless cuts on low income families.


“I have written to Paul Maynard asking him to consider his priorities on Tuesday.”


Click here to read my letter.