Welsh Labour MP for Ogmore, Chris Elmore, has welcomed the UK Government’s u-turn on providing free school meals for children in England over the summer holidays, calling it a “victory for common sense and decency”.
On Tuesday (16 June), Downing Street was forced to announce plans to extend the provision of free school meal vouchers for school pupils in England after facing significant pressure from the Labour Party and England football international, Marcus Rashford.
On 22 April, the Welsh Labour Government announced that pupils in Wales who are eligible for free school meals would continue to receive this provision for the duration of the summer holidays. Funding equating to £19.50 per week has been allocated for all children who are eligible for the scheme to help school pupils get a healthy, nutritious meal throughout the summer months. Pupils in England will receive vouchers equivalent to £15 per week, per child.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“I’m pleased that the UK Government has finally seen sense and has answered the calls we in the Labour Party, Marcus Rashford, and others have been making. It simply shouldn’t have taken a campaign of this scale for UK Ministers to move on this, though.
“As is the case on so many issues, the Welsh Labour Government has led the way on this crucial provision from the start, making Wales the first UK nation to give families peace of mind at this difficult time.
“Individuals and families in Wales and right across the UK are facing incredibly precarious financial situations as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and this additional support will help to take just a small amount of the strain off those who are struggling the most.”