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to think a £7500 income cap on free school meals is a deathwish?

(425 Posts)
thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 11:57:42

I'm so shocked to see the Children's Society analysis reported in most papers today about proposals to introduce a £7500 income cap on free school meals.

My initial reaction is this is sheer vindictiveness, taking away a meal from kids in dire need. Will the money spent on a daily lunch for a few children save our economy? Or perhaps we can be relied on to not care anymore? Or is there a wider picture nobody is reporting? My understanding is that the present income cap is £16k, which already seems a challenge for a family of say four.

Sarah Teather, the Minister, is a lib dem MP but this must tar both parties for many and seems an absolute deal breaker for mobile voters. Straw that broke the camel's back, death wish, etc.

Curious if anyone knows any more to this.

TIA

PosieParker Thu 19-Apr-12 11:59:03

Good gracious yes, school meals at our school are £2.20 per day and they are shit.

PosieParker Thu 19-Apr-12 11:59:43

Thanks for raising this issue.

It doesn't say they are going to set the level at that point though does it? I agree it would be an awful policy. But it's the Tories - what do you expect. utter, utter bastards. Role on the election and lets kick these gits in to outer darkness (oh yes and the Lib dems too!)

OldGreyWiffleTest Thu 19-Apr-12 12:24:55

Unfortunately, because Labour just spent and spent, and borrowed and borrowred, and sold all our gold at a pittance, the country is in Shit Street. If we had an election tomorrow we would still be in Shit Street.

Unfortunately we are ALL paying the price for unscrupulous Governments.

snice Thu 19-Apr-12 12:27:29

the present income cap isnt £16000 where we live-DH (self employed) earned less than this but is topped up with working tax credits which means we are ineligible for school meals

TheCunningStunt Thu 19-Apr-12 12:28:35

That is ridiculous. Ours are £1.90 for a meal. DS has a packed lunch that probably costs half that in reality. YANBU

2shoes Thu 19-Apr-12 12:31:58

they really hate the poor don't they, now they want the poor kids to starve

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 12:40:41

How is having hungry distracted DC in class going to help learning?

While I don't think school dinners are as nutritious as claimed and are expensive, 1.90 here which for more than one DC adds up, some DC packed lunches are unbelievably unhealthy.

Cheap food can tend towards the unhealthy so probably won't help with child obesity rates and nutrition is linked to brain development and poor diets have sometimes been linked to certain behavioral issues.

Seems like a short term money saving at expense of long term.

ramblinrose Thu 19-Apr-12 12:42:01

A £7500 income cap is very low. I find that shocking.

PosieParker Thu 19-Apr-12 12:42:05

Bollocks to labour spending and spending. Money may have to be carefully spent but to constantly fuck the poor is not inevitable...it is the path the Tories have chosen.

DogEared Thu 19-Apr-12 12:43:54

shock Are they really considering this?

I always thought it was simplistic to think that the Tories were posh and rich and only looked after their own, but I am getting to the point where it does look that simple. They hate anyone that's not like them.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Apr-12 12:44:02

Oh fuck. Free school meals is also how they assess for the Pupil Premium which schools should use to help fund school trips, clubs and so on for the kids who can't afford extras. So basically cutting school funding too.

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 12:46:32

Your right noblegiraffe - my DC school is always on to parents to claim if eligible as they get extra funding shock.

NunOnTheRun Thu 19-Apr-12 12:47:13

Our dear leaders seem less keen on dealing with b/millionaire tax evaders. Lovely.

flatpackhamster Thu 19-Apr-12 12:53:11

It's all very well wringing your hands about how awful this is. The fact remains that welfare spending doubled under Labour, education spending doubled under Labour, healthcare spending doubled under Labour, and our national debt doubled under Labour.

If you commit to this expenditure, what will you cut in order to pay for it?

2shoes Thu 19-Apr-12 12:53:57

oh perhaps that high speed train

Adversecamber Thu 19-Apr-12 12:54:28

I would have thought that even people who are anti benefits would disagree with food being literally taken out of the mouths of children.

knowwhenyouhavebeenbeaten Thu 19-Apr-12 12:56:16

.

DogEared Thu 19-Apr-12 12:56:49

flatpack I would sort out the ridiculous tax evasion by the billionaires and multinational companies in this country. I wouldn't take a huge financial risk like the Olympics.

pamplem0usse Thu 19-Apr-12 12:57:45

This is obscene. £7500 would mean if your School meal cost £1.90 (the figure being quoted) you would be expected to spend 5% of your annual income PER CHILD on one meal over a years worth of School days (c.180 days). Say you have three children, and have had the misfortune to be made redundant, or had an industrial accident. You're a single parent, you have three children who you were perfectly capable of supporting in your previous job but now you're working in a supermarket over the very short School day because you can't afford childcare. NOT ALL POOR PEOPLE ARE SCROUNGERS.
It's all well and good suggesting these people give their children packed lunches, but through lack of will (often because of social deprivation in your own upbringing), ability and finances School lunch is likely to be the only hot meal of the day. Bloody hell. Often the only meal full stop. And you expect these children to be able to concentrate in lessons. I'm FURIOUS. And B*gger off anyone who tries to make out that we're all suffering, point out to me a millionnaire banker who isn't able to get a hot meal a day.

ivykaty44 Thu 19-Apr-12 12:57:47

Seems like a short term money saving at expense of long term.

Every government of this country looks at short term gain - never long term savings - as they know that they only have a short term and then may be voted out again.

Look at northern Europe if you want to talk about governments looking at long term gain, Denmark knows that for every 5 euros spent on bike lanes they will save 3 euros in health care - in the long run.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Apr-12 12:59:25

I'd cut bonuses and ludicrous pay for bankers in publicly owned banks. I'd cut tax breaks for the wealthy. I'd make corporations pay their tax bills. I'd institute the financial transactions tax (robin hood tax).

Would you prefer to cut free dinners for poor kids?

pamplem0usse Thu 19-Apr-12 12:59:44

flatpack I wouldn't be cutting food from the stomachs of poor children, that's for sure. I'd be taxing the sh*t out of anyone on an income of 100k+ a year..... And they can go and live in Monaco if they'd rather. Useless stupid arguement. Fairer taxation in Sweden doesn't mean the poor get poorer because of the rich going elsewhere.

Yorkpud Thu 19-Apr-12 13:00:01

YANBU - this is a nightmare for any parents who rely on these. Food is so expensive it will massively affect low income families' budgets.

ivykaty44 Thu 19-Apr-12 13:01:41

20 million has just been spent by BBC on getting rid of 20 members of staff.

My local council pays 2.5 millions in wages to 6 men in the council each year, they have frozen wages for the staff on lower scales to try to save money.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Thu 19-Apr-12 13:01:52

Oh, that's so low, quite shocking shock

We struggle to balance the family budget with DH on a reasonable wage, and I've just (today !) got a new P/T job which will help a little.

My DCs have always had a school dinner as I feel it's very valuable for them to have that as well as helping me at the same time. I feel (having worked as mid-day supervisor in school) that many packed lunches are rather un-healthy and inadequate. For some children a school dinner may well be the main and healthiest meal of their day. Such a help for any families that are struggling a little.

Very short-sighted sad

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 13:02:15

Who actually earns an amount that low - as they take TC/WTC into account. If both parents have to be working a certain amount of hours its going to be a small number who actually earn that amount (and rightly so).

TheFeministsWife Thu 19-Apr-12 13:02:33

flatpackhamster How about cutting the fat cat MPs salaries and expense allowances instead of taking foof out of poor children's mouths.

I'm sorry to say this doesn't shock me in the slightest typical Tories. Is appalling though all the same.

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 13:02:39

And Sarah Teather is a simpering idiot.

TheFeministsWife Thu 19-Apr-12 13:02:58

food not foof blush

flatpackhamster Thu 19-Apr-12 13:03:43

Dogeared The deficit for 2011/2012 was £170 Billion. Let's pretend for a minute that we can get all this amazing money that apparently all the evil rich people owe the UK government. That'll add up to, what, £20 Billion tops?

Scrap the Olympics? That'll save you, at best, £20Bn.

That still leaves a £130Bn gap for this year. And, like it or not, spending has to keep falling in order to pay off the massive debt run up by Golden Brown.

halcyondays Thu 19-Apr-12 13:05:03

Yanbu. Our school meals are £2.20, not cheap.

flatpackhamster Thu 19-Apr-12 13:05:09

TheFeministsWife

I'm all in favour of dealing with MPs expenses, in particular their subsidised bars and restaurants. At best that'll save us £500 million a year, which is a fragment of the deficit.

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 13:05:17

Also - The extra funding given to schools (for SEN) is based on the number of FSM the school recieves. So what will happen then when budgets are already being slashed in those areas.

So hit poor families, hit children with SEN and Disabilities. Sounds like a perfect Tory idea!

madhairday Thu 19-Apr-12 13:07:14

Awful. But what can we expect? They're screwing over the disabled and poor, now hit another most vulnerable group - children in poverty. Fabulous.

<lost for words>

samandi Thu 19-Apr-12 13:08:23

Personally I think it's up to parents to make sure their children are adequately fed, but I gather that some parents are incapable of doing that so it seems that kids will be the ones to suffer.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Apr-12 13:08:34

How much would this bar on free school meals save compared to, say, scrapping the olympics or collecting all the tax owed?

OptimisticPessimist Thu 19-Apr-12 13:09:12

FSM are already massively hard to get when working - if you work and get working tax credit then you can't get them even if your wages/salary are under the £16,000 cap. The only people who can get FSM are the ones who work too few hours to qualify for WTC (or those who choose not to claim but WTC is worth more than FSM so not much contest there).

Appalling to want to cut it even further.

Dawndonna Thu 19-Apr-12 13:10:00

Cut the defence budget and have a word with HMRC, thereby ensuring no more lunches with Goldman Sachs.

Is the Queen still getting her yacht ?

TheFeministsWife Thu 19-Apr-12 13:11:01

So when do you think they'll announce the opening of the first workhouse of the 21st century? They'll be able to get rid of all of the great unwashed then! hmm

buxton150 Thu 19-Apr-12 13:11:22

It a rubbish idea. Let's hit the poorest. Typical of this Government.

samandi Thu 19-Apr-12 13:08:23

Personally I think it's up to parents to make sure their children are adequately fed, but I gather that some parents are incapable of doing that so it seems that kids will be the ones to suffer.

But in the real world that not always possible.

We have children going to the school i'm a governor at who have to get 2 buses to school which cost £3+/£2+ for each person for each bus. Then you have either £8.50 or £8.75 per child per week for school dinners.

These amount soon add up if you have more then one child. So what happen is the children don't come to school as the parents can not afford fares or food.

nannyl Thu 19-Apr-12 13:18:41

quite possibly the worst idea that i have EVER herd shock

people on large combined incomes GET child benfit, yet children whose parents earn less than £8k now dont even get food?

starving the poorest children is as low as they can go IMO sad

BoffinMum Thu 19-Apr-12 13:21:35

We're on a good income here at the Maison de Boff and even we find them bloody expensive on top of train fares to school and so on. If someone thinks you can fund this out of £7500 a year, then they are in complete cloud cuckoo land.

BoffinMum Thu 19-Apr-12 13:22:39

The Gvt loves holding Finland up as an example of a wonderful education system.

In Finland, all, repeat all, children get a free hot lunch every day (think meatballs, potatoes, salad, and fruit dessert).

Go figure.

It is a typical Tory attitude, I can't imagine it ever passing though, there would be uproar surely? (and rightly so!)

Without meaning to come across short sighted, there are plenty of other ways to save money, school meals is a drop in the ocean when you compare it to the aid we give to Brazil for example, or India, who have their own space programme. It is ludicrous to give aid to countries with their own space programme, they need to get their priorities straight.

There are also things like the high speed rail link, costing God knows how much, MP's expenses, the money we spend on government Quangos and entertainment, the MP's second home allowance should also be reduced.

Bankers bonuses, millionaire tax evaders, the seemingly endless tax loopholes that could bring in millions if they were tightened up.

I am pretty sure all of these things being scrapped, reduced or reworked would ensure the public felt the government have the general publics best interests at heart, cut the deficit and enable them to keep the free school meals threshold where it is now!

Dawndonna Thu 19-Apr-12 13:23:55

Bus Fares = £10.00 per week.
Lunches - £2.20 per day.
Twins.

SuePurblyBusinesslike Thu 19-Apr-12 13:25:40

Just seen this on the BBC site. Sarah Teather gets right up my nose.

Of all the areas to target, free school meals for the most vulnerable is shocking. But I suspect it'll work out quite well for them - FSM eligibility is often used as an indicator of being in poverty, presumably fewer children entitled will mean figures showing fewer children in poverty hmm angry

asuwere Thu 19-Apr-12 13:26:16

Free school meals are only given if parents don't work or work too little hours to claim WTC. I'm kinda with Samandi - it's up to these parents to earn enough to pay for their children. I know it's not a popular point of view and there will be plenty people saying it's not possible but for the majority of people, they should be able to earn enough to keep their children.

We have 3 children, I work, we don't get any benefits (other than CTC and CB) and make packed lunches as can't afford school dinners. A family member also has 3 children; they get income support, rent paid, council tax paid, CTC, CB, maintenance (tax free!) and free school meals. They also have more disposible income than I do. There needs to be a lot of changes to the system to sort this out. It shouldn't pay to not work.

I can understand why the free school meals would be picked up on first as it won't on the whole effect the 'poorest' as if they're on benefits, they would still qualify.

ivykaty44 Thu 19-Apr-12 13:28:27

we don't get any benefits (other than CTC and CB)

then you get benefits confused

plenty of people work and get benefits

happyinherts Thu 19-Apr-12 13:28:48

Surely it's just levelling out the present inequalities and unfairness of the system.

A family with £7500 income would surely get working tax credit thereby bringing their income up to around £16K dependent upon number of children and therefore they would spend money on school meals.

At present any family working on a very low wage don't even qualify for free school meals.

tenby22 Thu 19-Apr-12 13:29:32

Plus does that mean fundingfor schools will also be cut. After all school are paid a premium for each child on FSM. Double bonus for Governement.

Bramshott Thu 19-Apr-12 13:29:56

Shockingly low income threshold - even full time @ NMW is about £10,000 a year.

However, I suspect it'll be another on of those "let's tell them the worst case scenario first, then make it slightly better and expect everyone to be grateful" policies. In a couple of months they will announce a "re-think in response to public feedback" and announce that they new threshold will actually be £10,000 hmm.

asuwere Look at your post, you said yousrelf someone who is unemployed with rent paid etc has more disposable income than you, who are working. This will hit the poorest. You don't have to be unemployed to be poor.

People working as part tiem retail staff or supermarket staff, or dinner ladies, lollipop men/women, etc working few hours, often unable to get any more hours at work, do not earn a lot of money. Those are the people this will hit.

"Add message | Report | Message poster flatpackhamster Thu 19-Apr-12 12:53:11

If you commit to this expenditure, what will you cut in order to pay for it?"

I've said it before and I'll say it again. They need to bite the bullet and raise taxes to a level that will sort this mess out.

sophsamjam Thu 19-Apr-12 13:33:13

I agree that if this is true then it is wrong. My children used to have packed lunches but since I had dc3 in December I switched them over the dinners to make my life a bit easier (yes I am lucky to be in a position to do that). Their dinners seem to be good to be fair. Some days better than others but overall good. They are not cheap I have just had to shell out £203 for 2 children to take us to the end of the school year. That is a lot of money to find at the minute even if you were on £20k nevermind £7.5k

This policy is wrong and cannot be allowed - for some children it will be the only decent meal they get all day and not because the parents are lazy but because they can't afford to provide more.

Please however don't start knocking the wealthy - it is bordering on reverse snobbery. Through sheer hard work, determination, sacrifice etc my husband now earns in excess of £100k - why should we have the hell taxed out of us just because he has been successful. He has taken risks and works flippin hard for his money and because of that he now employs others. You need to be careful not to bash the rich and lump everyone into the same pot.

The poorer do need protecting but that involves making sure companies like Amazon and very wealthy individuals don't tax evade. We also need to hammer the banks more for putting us in this position but ALL of the parties are too scared to do this.

My husband pays a hell of a lot in tax - fair enough - but if it keeps on increasing it will be very demotivating and it will deter people from trying to achieve.

PS I don't want to live in Monaco I want to live in the country of my birth.

crazygracieuk Thu 19-Apr-12 13:34:59

Yanbu!

I'd be very interested in how the amount spent on FSM for children from families earning £7501-£15,999 compares with the amount of CB given to parents with incomes of £40k+. Surely scrapping CB for the latter is a better way to save than the former?

If anything, you'd think that increasing the threshold for FSM would be worth considering as it would create jobs and offer more children a nutritious meal.(I'm NOT saying that packed lunches are not nutritious or that low income families will skimp on nutritious food)

good thining Bramshott, then everyone will fall over in relief, and the government can tick their "listens to public concerns" box

moomoo1967 Thu 19-Apr-12 13:35:41

As I am eligible for WTC then I am not eligible for free school meals or help with school uniform, I earn just over £10k and am a single parent. Plus my housing benefit has just been cut, I cannot afford to move and my office relocated before Xmas to the next town so now it costs me £50 per month to get to work instead of me being able to cycle.
But apart from all that I consider myself one of the lucky ones, there are kids out there whose parents neglect them so badly that the free school meals would have been the only hot meal they would get each day, it is those families who are going to be the worse off.

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 13:37:13

asuwere - so what will happen to all those children with SEN who are not getting the funding any more because this is based on FSM?

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 13:38:47
Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 13:39:12

Posted too soon.

Its a campaign to make sure all children in poverty get free school meals.

Agincourt Thu 19-Apr-12 13:39:27

I think it's about time they started looking at all these self employed contractors who earn ridiculous money p/h and then put it into a private companies and only pay 20% tax whilst those who are on permanent wages over 40k are paying 40% instead of taking free school dinners off the working poor

There is so much MORE they could be doing to increase tax revenue without implementing every single ridiculous and mean minded cut

flatpackhamster Thu 19-Apr-12 13:40:22

StealthPolarBear

Why should taxpayers pay for this? I don't want to pay for it. I think taxes are far too high already, and that government - particularly central government - does too much. Government already (according to the most recent figures I can find) spends 40% of our GDP. France, Norway and Finland spend around 44%.

I recognise that it's an issue, but I don't see that it's an issue that can be solved, in the way that some people tend to, by taking more of other people's money. How is that generous? It's like someone saying "I'm cold" and you saying "Here's Dave's coat". It's cost you nothing to do that.

If you feel that strongly about it, then why not contact your local school, and find out how many children are on free school meals, and arrange with a group of mums that each of you will cook the food one day a week for those children.

Sue the official figures for children in poverty don't take fsm into account, just WTC or income support (i think, but def not fsm)

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 13:42:14

So do you think if they cut the threshold your taxes will go down?

goingmadinthecountry Thu 19-Apr-12 13:44:28

I've taught in some pretty deprived areas and know that some of my tutor group didn't always get decent hot meals outside school.

It's beyond belief. Children will definitely go hungry because of this. Or at least more parents will, because they'll send the food off with their dcs and do without.

Agincourt Thu 19-Apr-12 13:46:15

I think there need to be tougher penalties for people evading paying tax either altogether or using tax loopholes in order to pay less tax but pay themselves more.

I don't understand why this isn't being looked at before looking at cutting school meals and lollipop ladies fgs

Flatpack, yes I would rather people who earn a decent amount pay slightly more tax than chidren in poverty go hungry. No, I will not be cooking meals for children at the local school.

WibblyBibble Thu 19-Apr-12 13:52:13

http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/mark-steel/mark-steel-shall-we-let-rich-people-decide-who-gets-treated-in-our-hospitals-7654716.html

I'm going to just post that repeatedly* until people STFU about 'their' taxes and how they want them to be spent like the bunch of whining overgrown two year olds the average higher rate taxpayer clearly is.

*Not actually true, I'm going to continue with doing my work which is about 500 times harder than your whiny arsed husbands' work and yet miraculously doesn't pay £100k.

asuwere Thu 19-Apr-12 13:53:23

TheRealMrsHannigan
"People working as part tiem retail staff or supermarket staff, or dinner ladies, lollipop men/women, etc working few hours, often unable to get any more hours at work, do not earn a lot of money. Those are the people this will hit."

These people will still qualify though if they aren't working enough hours for WTC and are on less than £7500 or am I missing something!?

Voidka
"asuwere - so what will happen to all those children with SEN who are not getting the funding any more because this is based on FSM?"
What is SEN?!

Bramshott Thu 19-Apr-12 13:53:38

Oh come on people, we are a rich country, we are NOT in such dire straights that we cannot afford to provide a hot meal at lunchtime for children from the poorest families. Something that will help them to concentrate at school, reduce disruption and inprove outcomes. We shouldn't even be having this debate.

Amen.

It shouldn't pay to not work.

The point is that it should pay to be in work.

Wages should not have gotten down to the level that they have, with the cost of living forever rising.

Money needed to be spent to get people out of the poverty that so many years living under Thatcher's rule, put them and the countries infastructure, into.

Study social policy and you will find that the Thatcher years didn't save the country anything, the policies mearly redircted the wealth and we are still paying the price, because it was a massive period of change that should have been handled better, to favour the majority.

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 13:56:29

ivykaty44 yes I accept many government in this country think only short term.

I did point out the short term implication that school will lose money which will affect all DC at the school including mine, and behavior will probably not be helped adversely affecting my DC. I'm sure the government will try and blame teachers for this and any possible poor results and blame poor parents and parenting for any ill results.

Still despite not being any where near this income bracket it makes me think the government doesn't care about DC which also means my DC. I'm due to vote soon in local elections as is DH and we'll vote in the next general election. This doesn't incline me toward the coalition parties. I would have thought they would have at least considered that far ahead.

Agincourt Thu 19-Apr-12 13:56:39

These people will still qualify though if they aren't working enough hours for WTC and are on less than £7500 or am I missing something!?

Not if their partner earns £7501

mayaswell Thu 19-Apr-12 13:56:48

You ask why should taxpayers pay for this?

Because children not getting enough to eat is a national disgrace and as society we should ensure that our most vulnerable citizens have a safety net.

Bleeding heart liberal? I'll say I am.
Entitled to say it? As a higher rate tax payer, yes I think I can.

And until we live in a meritocracy I'll feel the same.

I suspect this a fantastic method to be able to erase the attainment gap between FSM and the 'rest' of the school population, and thus enable the additional funding to be removed.

Agincourt Thu 19-Apr-12 13:59:34

Look at all these food banks too. It makes me so sad to think that even have to exist when as a nation we are rich. People are certainly rich enough where I live to compensate for these children to get a warm dinner every school day

BonnieBumble Thu 19-Apr-12 14:00:02

I find this shocking. I'm sure I read a report recently that recommended making free school meals a universal benefit for all children.

The problem is we can all be shocked and outraged on MN but the average man in the street doesn't care. We have become a very selfish society.

Agincourt Thu 19-Apr-12 14:00:38

On our local news it showed these mobile soup kitchen places in Peterborough too and that makes me sad as well

Maya now THAT is a likely possibility

ShirtyKnot Thu 19-Apr-12 14:02:48

Why should taxpayers pay for this? I don't want to pay for it

There are many things I don't want to pay for with my tax. Ensuring poor children get at least one hot meal a day isn't something I begrudge.

You have to wonder how wedded to money you have become when this seems like a good idea.

asuwere Thu 19-Apr-12 14:03:01

These people will still qualify though if they aren't working enough hours for WTC and are on less than £7500 or am I missing something!?

Not if their partner earns £7501

Well surely if their partner earns that plus what they earn, then they'll still probably qualify for WTC and will have a higher income so their children still won't be starving in the street.

All these children that are starving and are going to suffer - how do they survive the school holidays?!

JosephineCD Thu 19-Apr-12 14:03:44

It's all very well saying "raise taxes" but what happens next time? Raise taxes again? Sooner or later people have to look at themselves and take responsibility for their own children.

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 14:03:45

asuwere
it's up to these parents to earn enough to pay for their children.

Poor nutrition has life long implications for DC - and I think there is some evidence that it can affect GC as well. Anything that adversely impact on education also has life long affects and affect not just those individuals but if enough people are affect an entire economy.

It also affect health - which as we currently have the NHS also means increased costs for everyone.

Possibly there are better ways of providing cheap nutritious food to poorer families but currently one of the major ways is these school meals.

Agincourt Thu 19-Apr-12 14:04:16

You have to wonder how wedded to money you have become when this seems like a good idea.

Quite

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 14:04:59

SEN is Special Educational Needs asuwere

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 14:05:10

what sort of heartless piece of shit do you have to be to begrudge free dinners?

We feed them to the fucking queen every day of her pampered life ffs!

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 14:05:22

asuwere
All these children that are starving and are going to suffer - how do they survive the school holidays?!

Seem to remember that one reason presented to shorten the long summer holiday was these DC -because they do go hungry.

I don't think that older generations realise how expensive it is to send children to school anymore, what with the whole uniform needing to be a certain type and regular donations etc asked for.

In the more disadvantaged areas uniform policies were not upheld/or in exsistence like they are now, because it was recognised that the cost was outside of many families reach.

A child's weekly bus pass in my area has just risen to £13 a week, the minium that you could spend is £10.

Agincourt Thu 19-Apr-12 14:07:17

I know birdsgottofly, mine went back to school this week and I have had several letters all at once asking for money to be paid for next week for x/y and z and it adds up to about £60!

HateBeingCantDoUpMyJeans Thu 19-Apr-12 14:07:21

School meals should be free for all

minimathsmouse Thu 19-Apr-12 14:07:25

OP, glad you thought to put this here, found it in politics.

I wonder if the government have set the threshold so low because as with working tax credit it will mean virtually no one will be able to claim.

Josephine, if were using slippery slope arguments, then what about the other way round? If we allow this, what next? Scrap fsm altogether. No free healthcare for the over 65s. No treatment for smokers. No free education. After all, savings must be made.

ellenjames Thu 19-Apr-12 14:08:52

This is shocking! Our kids dont have hot school meals as too expensive they are £2.60 at our school!!! Plus we have 2 in school with another going in in 2013 so 3 dcs in the same school would bankrupt us!

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 14:09:48

I can't help thinking that there's less and less to lose for more and more people.

Social cohesion when it starts to crumble can blow your life and livelihood apart. So when those who cannot see how important it is to recognize children in poverty, [however they get to that place and whoever got them there] when they go there themselves [which of course they think they won't because they're really in good control of their lives and their health and traffic when crossing the road etc etc] they should be grateful they're not burdening the rest of us and our lives.

Perhaps the Goveenment feels it has nothing to lose, too? There's a "suicide attack" feel to this. Is the idea that once done, the impact will endure even if they leave office? Or am I overthinking it?

asuwere Thu 19-Apr-12 14:09:51

In that case, Voidka. What happens to children with SEN who are at a school where majority of parents work full time and therefore don't qualify for FSM? Is that the governments fault also?

On the point about poor nutrition having long term implications - I don't think FSM are the answer to that issue. Having a meal at school does not change the behaviours at home. Education needs to be changed there which is much bigger. And even if a meal is classed as nutritious, it doesn't stop the child leaving the fruit/veg. As seen by Jamie Oliver, many children still get a school meal which consists of chips and sauce!

All these children that are starving and are going to suffer - how do they survive the school holidays?!

As someone who works with vulnerable families, working and none working, i can safely say that they go without.

Even to the point that they do not clean as much as they would like to because washing etc costs money.

I grew up in a 'disadvantaged area' and live in one now,but i was still shocked at the conditions that some people live in and it is usually through a few unlucky life events, disability, DV, redundancy etc, not bad planning.

BonnieBumble Thu 19-Apr-12 14:11:26

I didn't think that there would be one person on MN that would think this proposal a good idea.

It appears that I was wrong. It makes me really sad. One thing that this recession has taught me is that on the whole people in this country are selfish and judgemental. I can't imagine that we will ever have a left of centre government again because it appears that everyone is a Tory at heart. I have no optimism at all.

porcamiseria Thu 19-Apr-12 14:11:28

whoever said "they hate the poor"

yup, this has made me angry

fucking cutting food for kids

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 14:12:52

If less people have hot meals because they no longer get them free - won't this drive up the price to those who already have to pay? Making it harder for other DC to have hot meals?

I get ill in winter - and Dec and Jan this year with DH working away and me just coping it was a god send to have the option of hot dinners. If they'd been much more expensive it just wouldn't have been possible.

gramercy Thu 19-Apr-12 14:13:37

The Children's Society is of course rather biased - after all if no children were in poverty they'd have to shut up shop. This may sound harsh but I have experience of this charity and I would not donate money to it. They devote too great a percentage of their money on agencies who can spout attention-grabbing hyperbole.

porcamiseria Thu 19-Apr-12 14:14:03

you know what, I am in the "cuts need to be made" and "there is only so much money" camp too

But children? they did not ask to be born

really sad

but what bramshott said too, CUNNING!!!! are you a politcian

asuwere Thu 19-Apr-12 14:15:01

It's not about cutting food for children or making children suffer. It's about cutting that massive overspending and encouraging more families to support themselves so that those who really do need the help will be able to get it.

If these children are in such awful home conditions where they can't wash etc, then something else needs to be done rather than just giving them a free school meal!

porcamiseria Thu 19-Apr-12 14:15:10

agree gamercy, I dont trust many charities these days
as they had shit loads in savings and lost them in fucking ice save,and spend a fortune on prime time adertising

thekidsrule Thu 19-Apr-12 14:16:35

if this was implemented who the hell would be elegible or is that the point,

Asuwere- sorry, but you don't seem to have a clue about life for many, who this will hit, children who don't have breakfast, especially the day that the benefit is due and they have woken up without electricity or gas,because budgeting has to be so tight .

It scares me to think that we will go back to what we saw in the 1970's and 80's.

Rikalaily Thu 19-Apr-12 14:17:15

asuwere child maintainance isn't tax free, the parent who pays it pays tax on that money before it goes to the resident parent just as they would if those parents were still together. If the resident parent paid tax on it, it would be double taxed and the kids would end up with less.

You attitude is disgusting. We are not entitled to FSM because of WTC so I send them in with packed lunches, even this costs a fortune and believe me, in the area I live in, those kids who lose thier free school meal will be going in with a packet of crisps and a mars bar, most around here don't even get a decent breakfast. Kids are the only ones who will suffer for this, can't believe there are people here so selfish that you honestly begrudge a child a meal.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 14:17:27

Giving them the free school meal isn't the only thing 'done', though - but it's a pretty good place to start.

WatneyShed Thu 19-Apr-12 14:17:27

encouraging more families to support themselves so that those who really do need the help will be able to get it

If you're on £7k a year, you'll need that help ffs.

poppyknot Thu 19-Apr-12 14:17:59

HateBeing - I think Tommy Sheridan suggested this in the Scottish parliament way back when..... In some ways it makes as much sense as child benefit for (nearly) all.

Also govt seemed willing to tie itself in knots about the 'cliff edge' of the CB debacle but at the moment don't seem so keen to be seen to be addressing this one..........

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 14:18:00

Its only a petition though, isnt it.

£7500 so £144 per week. is that considered a reasonable amount for a family to live on now then?

at our school the fsm entitlement is also used as a way to prove that no you can't afford £15 for someone to come in and talk about dinosaurs and £15 to go on a trip 3 miles down the road for 2hrs to see something that has a £2 entry fee and no you can't afford whatever bloody thing there is this week you're getting a demand letter for. so it will be more than the just the meals people lose.

if this government gets another term there will absolutely nothing left and no way of prizing any of it back out of the hands of the greedy and the selfish and the condemning and judgmental and begrudging who have happily clapped as it all got burned.

Agincourt Thu 19-Apr-12 14:20:14

The Chjildren's society do loads of work for children with disabilities, it's not just for those who you perceive as 'poor', though statistically it is more likely you will live in poverty if you are disabled or a carer

DoingTheBestICan Thu 19-Apr-12 14:22:36

Why cant this country adopt Finlands mantra & give all children a free hot meal? I know this is a rubbish comparison but prisoners get free food.

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 14:22:59

asuwere
It's not about cutting food for children or making children suffer. It's about cutting that massive overspending and encouraging more families to support themselves so that those who really do need the help will be able to get it.

Maybe I'm just cynical - but I do not believe these cuts will mean people who need help will get it.

I think they are more likely to go without meaning poverty is a harder trap to escape and that the increasing demonisation of the poor will continue - ie it their own fault, or DC problems are all on the parents ect.

I will watch this story with interest - as I to am cynical about charities these days.

minimathsmouse Thu 19-Apr-12 14:23:06

If these children are in such awful home conditions where they can't wash etc, then something else needs to be done rather than just giving them a free school meal! austerity is causing this situation to get much worse and if you really need to ask that, here is what I think.
Give workers a fair wage and stop making claimants out of all of us whilst subsidising businesses to pay less wages and less tax. Do something about the rising level of unemployment and make sure that where it is absolutely nesassary to pay benefits, ensure they meet living costs.

There is a simple equation, if you ensure families are not living in poverty through wages that meet living costs, or through benefits that meet living costs then you don't need to provide hot meals to their starving children. Otherwise continue to impoverish families but feed their children with free school meals. For me it's that simple.

thekidsrule Thu 19-Apr-12 14:23:33

do you know what 2 of mine have FSD (cafe at school) youngest is fussy so i provide packed lunch

i feel strongly about this and would rather lose my 2s meals as im able to manage than other kids lose it because of chaotic home life

those kids will suffer not the parent

yeah gods has it really come to this

asuwere there are people in this country earning below £7500, who do not claim WTC because in some cases, they have no idea how to start the process, or that they are even entitled to claim anything.

There are also people who will be earning around 10K mark, that is not a huge wage by anyone's standards, why on earth would you begrudge anyone on this kind of income a free meal for their DC?

I also think some people are missing the point, starving children is, thankfully, a rarity in the UK. But under nourished children are far too common in our society, as are children who go to bed hungry. Not starved, but not enought food to leave them full and satisifed. A free nutritious meal, once a day, helps to combat this.

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 14:24:24

gramercy, do you think the Children's Society are exaggerating or misleading us? That did not occur to me since every newspaper has picked it up, and the cap proposed is so clear.

Do you think they are doing it because FSM is the main way they identify their constituency and reduced FSM will threaten them? Or are you saying something else?

Like most, I know of them only in passing from the work they do locally with child care. All charities succumb to shroud waving to some extent, but this item is not exactly hard to unpick by the national newspapers if it's exaggeration. Anyway whatever they are, this proposal does shock me.

i think if you take and take and take from the poorest in society who aren't in a position, for whatever reason, to get out there and make a financial success of their life there must come a snapping point where they just don't give a fuck about society anymore. all of this stuff is going to create so much more disenfranchisement whilst pretending it's going to get people into work (what work for a start and how if they're totally unable to do it).

i'm just not of good health and a single parent and i feel so pushed and pushed that i could just detach and never come back itms. god knows how it feels if you also have no qualifications, live in a sink estate, are illiterate or struggle with learning difficulties, etc etc etc.

they really better be building themselves nice big gated communities with very good security. maybe just drive all the poor out of the south east and then build a 10m high electric fence around it with armed guards along the perimeter?

If these children are in such awful home conditions where they can't wash etc, then something else needs to be done rather than just giving them a free school meal

encouraging more families to support themselves

Are the redundacy notices across the country and lack of jobs, passing you by somehow?

Are you not seeing more and more, retailers, pubs etc, closing and dissappearing, that has a knock on effect across all sectors.

Not all benefits are 'gateway' benefits, so if you are awarded 'Widowed parent allowance', (for example) carers benefit stops, if you are not working then WTC's cannot be claimed, if an income support top up is not applicable (which soon won't be) then FSM cannot be claimed.

There was the 'guarenteed minimum income' introduced under Labour, for good reason, that is now going out the window.

Many families will be back to living on chips and beans.

asuwere Thu 19-Apr-12 14:26:55

yes, child maintenance is taxable for the person earning it but the person who is receiving it (which is what I was mentioning) doesn't have to pay tax on it and doesn't need to declare that as income for TC purposes!

if the children who lose the meals will get a bag of crisps and a mars bar, then really they have much bigger issues! How can it change from the these poor parents who are trying their best and unfortunately just can't afford a hot meal to the usual assumption that parents on low income don't know/care what good food is?!

Minimum wage is £6.08/hr, 16hrs/week for single person or 24hrs/week for couple to qualify for WTC would give incomes of £5058 or £7587. These seem low incomes but they will qualify for WTC so won't get FSM anyway - even if the limit stays at £16000!!

Based on those figures, there will be minimum effect on people so all these children that everyone is worrying about should be fine!

BonnieBumble Thu 19-Apr-12 14:27:09

What can we actually do if we feel angry at the cuts made?

I seem to spend my time feeling angry then sad but not actually doing anything constructive. Obviously I know what box my cross will go in at election time but I live in such a Tory stronghold that its almost pointless.

I'm disgusted by people's attitudes more than the cuts (we all know the Tories only care about the rich). I feel we need to make a stand against peoples selfishness as much as anything else, but how?

DepartmentForEducation Thu 19-Apr-12 14:28:45

It’s really important that children from low income families can get a free, nutritious meal at school. We remain totally committed to continuing to provide free school meals to children from the poorest families.

The Government is reforming welfare to get more people into jobs. Universal Credit will simplify the benefits system – but it does mean the Department for Education will have to change the way that eligibility for free school meals is worked out. We will be thinking hard about this to get it right.

No plans have yet been set and we will be consulting later this year about the best way forward. We will let Mumsnet know when the consultation starts so that people can give their views.

MrsShitty Thu 19-Apr-12 14:29:56

I don't know the answer...of COURSE children need free school meals. The cchildren at my neice's school are almost ALL on fsm and if their parents had to bring them packed lunches in, then some would arrive with nothing. sad

It can't be allowed to happen.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Apr-12 14:30:56

It's bizarre that anyone thinks FSM for the poor are a bad idea. This isn't giving benefit money to scroungers to buy flat screen TVs and exotic holidays, it's a free meal, directly given to a child whose parents aren't well-off. Even if you think the parents are feckless and undeserving, how can you begrudge a child a meal?

MrsShitty Thu 19-Apr-12 14:31:01

Bumble Well this is part of why I come on Mumsenet...and MN HQ need to ask the government if this is true and tell them it must NOT happen.

what jobs doe???????

reforming benefits to get people into jobs - seriously???

is it only in my town that there's a recession? i thought it was like global or something but apparently in westminster it's not happening.

DoingTheBestICan Thu 19-Apr-12 14:32:26

Its shocking,these children have never asked to be born,they are innocent victims in all this,ALL children should have at least 1 hot meal a day that is nutritous & healthy.
There needs to be a public outcry about this.

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 14:32:46

Oh hello Dept for Ed! It's quite simple really.

Does it stay at £16k or reduce?

For me, anyway it's very simple. Perhaps you may think £10k is acceptable? Or £12k? Or even £14k. Shame on you.

I can't believe I'm so angry about this now.

350'000 minimum children will be affected, that is enough in my book to worry about.

DoingTheBestICan Thu 19-Apr-12 14:35:00

We should be nurturing our children,this is our next generation,how well do they think they will concentrate in class with hungry tummies,knowing that they are going home to possible a sandwich for dinner?

asuwere Thu 19-Apr-12 14:35:05

where did you get the figure of 350000, Birdsgottafly?

thekidsrule Thu 19-Apr-12 14:35:12

i can be a right hard faced cow sometimes about subjects like this BUT this is a truly terrible idea

this is one "benefit" that cant be abused or mispent the child really does benefit and recieves directly

whether we like it or not some kids have awful homelifes,i couldnt and wouldnt want to even imagine whats its like to be hungry and with no source to buy food which is what does happen to some kids

this is a really sad reflection on a goverment in a so called civilised society,that would even entertain let alone implement it

shame on them

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 14:35:16

I'm so angry I hope someone who actually knows about these things will challenge Ms Teather for her job next time.

minimathsmouse Thu 19-Apr-12 14:35:44

DofE where are the jobs going to come from, would that be part time, lowly paid jobs in the private sector by any chance?

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Thu 19-Apr-12 14:37:41

Top subject in discussions of the day and a response from the Department for Education promising to keep us informed of consultation process and seeking to reassure that no decisions have been made as yet.

MNers I'm proud of you !

minimathsmouse Thu 19-Apr-12 14:40:23

Makes you wonder why we even have a government. It would be much cheaper to keep us lot in tea & coffee at our laptops all day. I'm sure collectively we couldn't make it worse, think of all those MPs expenses and salaries that could be cut grin

and MN HQ need to ask the government if this is true

What happened was that the propossed 'Universal Credit' was put to consulatation for feedback.

Many charities gave their concerns and so did statutory workers, SW's, etc.

So changes were made, some of the bigger charities were successful in getting some of the disability cuts removed, or at least put back.

Originally FSM would not form any part of change, but via other means, the capping of certain benefits are going further than first thought.

This is to be discussed later this year, all that can be done for now is everyone to email their MP, this is important as we have the local elections coming up, so notice may be taken.

Agincourt Thu 19-Apr-12 14:41:01

how is benefit reform going to help more people into jobs? It seems most of the reforms are forcing people out of work as they will be better off on benefits

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 14:41:28

DepartmentofEducation So when will you change the Additional School Needs so that it isnt based on FSM? Or will you except schools to carry on under the pressure of SEN without the adequate funding?

MrsShitty Thu 19-Apr-12 14:41:36

Keeping us informed is not worth much though....we can do that by readng the newspapers. They still "have to change the way" it's all worked out.

hmm

how is benefit reform going to help more people into jobs?

It doesn't but it suits an agenda to punish poverty and disability and make it look as those needing to claim are 'feckless'.

It also redirects wealth and makes those at the top rungs better off and in a even more powerful position.

flatpackhamster Thu 19-Apr-12 14:43:43

Bramshott, you say that we are 'not in such dire straits'.

We are. We really are. The only thing keeping the economy from sliding in to the abyss is cheap credit, and that's about to run out.

We are £1 Trillion in debt. Look at the debt figures for yourself:

http://www.ukpublicspending.co.uk/debt_brief.php

We spend £43 Billion a year just on paying the interest on our debt. Not paying it off. Just keeping our heads above water. £43Bn is double our defence budget. It would run the NHS for 4 months of the year, or the whole of the country's schools for 6 months, or pay the welfare bill for 3 months.

Despite all these 'evil cuts' government expenditure is still rising. The main reason for that is the rising debt repayment bill. If the Eurozone goes down the swanny, we're toast.

And yet you all sit here and cluck your collective tongues and say how awful it is without the faintest idea of just what a state the UK is in. Think with your heads instead of your hearts. Would you try to run your household budget the way the government has run the economy?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 14:45:50

If my house had some hungry children in it, I'd feed them first. Before I had a party for the rich granny I also had living there, probably.

Rikalaily Thu 19-Apr-12 14:45:54

asuwere Up until a couple of years ago Maintainance was declared and did affect TC's, what was the point of absent parents paying for thier children just for the government to take it back off the resident parent from thier TC's? There was no point, the only people who suffered were the kids who didn't get any extra's because there was not that extra bit of money coming in. I didn't bother going to the CSA to get money from my ex because I would have been no better off, as soon as the rules were changed I went straight to the CSA and now my kids have an extra £250 a month, I can now afford to get them clothes and school shoes when they need them rather than waiting until we had the money and them wearing destroyed shoes or thier trainers.

When I was a single mum on benefits after my ex left I had £30 a month left after everything had been paid, that wouldn't have covered school meals for my kids or the cost of packed lunches either. You really need a reality check.

Alot of the poorest families don't have a clue or don't care about good nutrition, come and walk my kids to school in the morning and you'll see how many kids get a chocolate bar or crisps for thier breakfast, alot don't get anything at all. The school have bowls of fruit out for the kids who haven't had anything to eat, I've heard of the teachers giving a few some toast. I've seen kids bringing in a packet of crisps and a can of pop for thier lunch plenty of times. The school can't even bring in healthy eating rules for the packed lunch kids because half of them wouldn't have anything to eat at all. You seriously haven't got a clue about the world some kids grow up in.

benefit reform creates jobs - that is one of the most nonsensical pieces of tripe in a while.

you can make people as poor as you like, if there's no jobs there's no jobs. and sick and disabled people can't get jobs that able bodied, healthy people are queuing up for.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Thu 19-Apr-12 14:47:51

Money isn't as real to me as hungry kids though flatpack

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 14:47:57

TheOriginalSteamingNit - well said.

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 14:49:32

flatpack the way I would run my household budget if it were not enough is to share what food I had with my neighbours' children even if it meant we adults had to go hungry.

This is just about feeding a few children who don't have that much in their lives. I can't imagine the everyday details of living for those who qualify on £16k. I just know it's wrong. Simply wrong, that we're OK about children no longer having a lunch which some even see as a stigma.

Banging on about how little money this country has spare, and using that to try and justify taking food from the mouths of children is laughable when you then look at how much money is being spent on the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics. Is this the fucking twilight zone?!

flatpackhamster Thu 19-Apr-12 14:57:14

Thirdhill

The point about the household budget is that, if you take the money out of taxes to pay for this, you're not feeding next door's kids from your food. You're taking food away from your unborn grandchildren to feed next door's kids.

Unless we get the debt down, then the 'cuts' now are barely a taste of the hell that we'll have to go through. You've seen what it's like in Greece at the moment. Spending has to come down, or we'll be like that in 18 months. It's horrible, but the misery can't me magicked away with other people's money.

goingeversoslowlymad Thu 19-Apr-12 14:57:36

I feel really sad about this. I can't believe the government would penalise children in this way. Health-wise it's just suicide, I can't imagine what some of these poor mites will end up having in their packed lunches. Sadly for some children this is probably the best meal they get.

As others pointed out there are better places to make cuts than going after families who are already on low incomes.

BoffinMum Thu 19-Apr-12 14:58:27

Ok DoE, let's unpack this.

Where is the evidence that cutting back FSM improves educational outcomes?

Because that is supposed to be your only remit, is it not? Maintaining and improving national educational outcomes.

Or did the DoE suddenly become the Treasury?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 15:00:04

Suppose your household finances were low, and Alvin Hall or whoever came round.

Do you think he would say: 'right, in the next month I want your overdraft cleared and your credit cards paid off. This will mean spending no money at all in the meantime. Do not buy food, do not pay bills. Times are tough, and the overdraft is big, so this must be your only priority. When it's paid, we'll deal with the fact that you've all starved to death in the meantime. Oh, but also, you're going to need to host a big sport party in your garden, and buy an insanely wealthy woman a yacht and stay at home from work to toast her amazing success in being alive for a fair while. Yes, I know you need your wages, but nonetheless.'

BoffinMum Thu 19-Apr-12 15:00:06

They could reschedule PFI payments on Building Schools for the Future as a means of unlocking finance for social welfare.

FateLovesTheFearless Thu 19-Apr-12 15:00:25

Up here in the highlands you must be earning less than £6450 a year to qualify for free school dinners and not be in receipt of working tax credit. I thought it was the same everywhere confused

Bramshott Thu 19-Apr-12 15:00:29

Flatpack - I don't pretend to understand all of it, nor have all the answers. But I do know that:
(a) we have a lower national debt as a proportion of GDP than for most of the 20th Century (after the 2WW we were REALLY in dire straights;
(b) we have lower debt repayments than many other EU countries
(c) we ARE a rich country compared to most in the world
(d) running a household budget and a national budget are two completely different things

And if we really ARE in such dire straights as you say, we should be looking at radical solutions like cancelling the Olympics; raising taxes for everyone in work; a higher 'luxury sales tax' on high-cost items; withdrawing from all foreign wars PDQ; shutting some embassies round the world - I don't know, but the list is ENDLESS of the things we should do if we really are in a dire financial state, before taking hot dinners away from poor children.

Banging on about how little money this country has spare, and using that to try and justify taking food from the mouths of children is laughable when you then look at how much money is being spent on the Jubilee celebrations and the Olympics. Is this the fucking twilight zone?! - Not to mention the billions of aid we send abroad.

flatpackhamster Thu 19-Apr-12 15:00:46

TheRealMrsHannigan

Total Olympic bill: £10Bn

Jubilee bill: £2Bn

Welfare bill in 2012: £150Bn

Pensions bill in 2012: £137Bn

NHS bill in 2012: £125Bn

Education bill in 2012: £90Bn

Deficit in 2012: £170Bn

The jubilee and olympics are inconsequential compared to the costs of the welfare state.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Thu 19-Apr-12 15:02:03

There has to be a better option than this proposal though flatpack - for one thing there's the Jubilee and Olympic celebrations MrsH mentions, or for another there's collecting taxes more effectively as others have mentioned.

There are always options and priorities to consider.

There has to be a better option than this which is immoral and short-sighted and would also be deeply unpopular

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 15:03:26

I should fucking hope the NHS bill is massive, and massively bigger than the jubilee bill! But if we're doing the 'household budget' trope, you still don't spend 'only' £32 on a Jo Malone candle when you're £17k in debt, do you?

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 15:06:57

flatpack, we all know, don't we, that throwing figures at us doesn't change the fact that the cost of free school meals is not going to make an impact on the economy. There are plenty of other choices. Do the list of figures prevent you from exercising a little judgement?

At least be less cowardly and say out straight, as asuwere has done, you think it is a good idea to stop feeding these kids and why. Stop hiding behind a long list and make a choice. Or are you telling us you'll cut them all? If so, say so.

Even if it's because they have so many other problems that they won't notice if you take away a bit of food from them.

Bintheredunthat Thu 19-Apr-12 15:07:21

This is an appalling idea, literally 'taking food from the mouths of babes', what kind of country have we become? Does this Government have no shame??

The arrogance of the Tories knows no bounds, they're not even trying to hide their hatred of poor people anymore.

I can't believe some people are still blaming Gordon Brown for a Worldwide recession. Did he also cause the terrible state of most of Europe's finances? What about Japan? U.S.A? A ridiculous argument that the recession we're in was caused by Labour.
If it wasn't for Gordon Brown we would be in even more debt now- see Ireland, Greece, Iceland etc.

There are many alternatives to these cuts see www.redpepper.org.uk/countering-the-cuts-myths
It simply isn't true that there's no alternative to these barbaric attacks on women, children, the elderly, disabled and sick whilst the rich are getting richer and richer.

So flatpack, you'd rather have some children starve than see your taxes raised?

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 15:18:39

sorry i am just working this out. i am a lone parent on IS. i receive IS, CB, CTC and HB. i have just added this up and it comes to £16,007.88 a year. currently my son is entitled to free school dinners. are the government now saying that anyone in my situation wouldn't be entitled to free school meals for their dcs? because my income is what the govt has said is the minimum my family of myself and two dcs needs to live on (otherwise why would i be able to get these benefits if teh govt didn't think i needed them?) so how on earth can they say that i would suddenly need to be surviving in less than half of that to be entitled to free school dinners? i dont understand. have they done the math? are tehy suddenly about to cut the benefits so that i will only be getting £7500? (i am re-training to get back into work so hopefully wont be on them forr much longer).

can someone explain thsi to me. i dont understand.

Bintheredunthat Thu 19-Apr-12 15:20:32

TheOriginalSteamingNit
Suppose your household finances were low, and Alvin Hall or whoever came round.

Do you think he would say: 'right, in the next month I want your overdraft cleared and your credit cards paid off. This will mean spending no money at all in the meantime. Do not buy food, do not pay bills. Times are tough, and the overdraft is big, so this must be your only priority. When it's paid, we'll deal with the fact that you've all starved to death in the meantime. Oh, but also, you're going to need to host a big sport party in your garden, and buy an insanely wealthy woman a yacht and stay at home from work to toast her amazing success in being alive for a fair while. Yes, I know you need your wages, but nonetheless.'

Thank you TheOriginalSteamingNit, for the best explaination I've seen of why these cuts are not only immoral but will not work.

sophsamjam Thu 19-Apr-12 15:23:08

Wibblybibble

"I'm going to just post that repeatedly* until people STFU about 'their' taxes and how they want them to be spent like the bunch of whining overgrown two year olds the average higher rate taxpayer clearly is.

*Not actually true, I'm going to continue with doing my work which is about 500 times harder than your whiny arsed husbands' work and yet miraculously doesn't pay £100k."

I am going to assume the above was directed at my post. If you read my post properly you will see I am not whining about paying tax or how much we pay what I am saying is that you can't constantly penalise those who earn more. Yes people who earn more should pay more and I agree with the various tax bands as they stand. What I don't agree with is just hiking up what we pay to try and pay for the current mess we are in. Neither me or my husband are responsible for that.

Please could you STFU about higher rate taxpayers - we don't whine we work hard and pay our dues just like those on lower incomes. Higher rate taxpayers contribute significantly to the coffers - please don't lump us in with the millionaire tax evaders.

The only thing I was whining about was cutting free school meals.

BTW how do you knowyour job is harder than my husbands?

FrothyOM Thu 19-Apr-12 15:23:52

Yes the country is in debt.

NO WAY should this be paid for by poor kids.

Make the selfish rich bastards pay it.

Department of education go fuck yourselves.

flatpackhamster Thu 19-Apr-12 15:27:27

The problem is, JugglingWithTangentialOranges, that everyone has their own 'special' area that they're worried about. Welfare, education, healthcare - doesn't matter, it'll upset someone. As I pointed out, the costs of the Jubilee and Olympics is inconsequential compared to welfare spending. And I simply don't think that there's £170Bn of tax rises in the British economy that could plug this gap.

Thirdhill, every penny matters. We have to get spending down, we have to start paying off the debt. Where do you want to cut £170Bn from? Healthcare? Education? How about pensions?

These are hard decisions. People will suffer. It's easy to just keep spending money you haven't got (as Labour did) because it makes you feel good. It's much harder to cut spending, which is why so few governments ever manage it. Nobody likes cutting spending, it makes them unpopular and politicians like to be popular.

Belleflowers Thu 19-Apr-12 15:29:13

i'm disgusted

So basically do they even realise from their ivory towers, that on planet earth, real life there are and will be further kids going through a school day hungry, often without breakfast in the first place, then going home to what? Nothing at home either.

What do they think this will achieve?

Please get Jamie Oliver into schools again, or round to SamCam and Dave Cam to sort this out. How can Dave Cam, a father himself think this is morally correct?

If Labour left us with massive debts, it is NOT the answer to get poor families further into stress to fix it.

The spinoffs from this and all the other ridiculous government measures and cuts to families will wreck lives. Literally. Poverty will increase in 6 mths. Add on an increase in a host of other domestic related social problems and family life will be pretty grim for parents and kids in thousands of homes across the country.

So so angry and sad about this.

What can be done? petition to government? Volunteering meals at schools? Heck, I'd turn up with my portable BBQ to cook tea for kids in need.

Feel useless need to do something to help, anyone else?

Fph people won't suffer. Children will suffer. People with disabilities will suffer. The vulnerable will suffer. If you're middle class and earning an ok amount you'll need to cut back a bit but your children won't starve.

PeelingmyselfofftheCeiling Thu 19-Apr-12 15:33:38

Ok flatpack

If this really affects 350000 children, and a school meal costs an average if £2.20, then if we say that's 5 days a week at 42 weeks a year I make that £162 million. Which is a tiny tiny fraction of the sums you've just quoted. So if you're saying cutting the Olympics or the jubilee spending won't address the debt, how can providing hot meals for the poorest, most desperate children in our society make any real difference?

I am partly responsible for this. I voted lib dem, I helped get these fuckers elected, and it makes me so viscerally angry I could cry. Nothing is sacred, nobody is too vulnerable to be attacked, and there is nothing any if us can do.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 15:33:58

*Total Olympic bill: £10Bn

Jubilee bill: £2Bn

Welfare bill in 2012: £150Bn

Pensions bill in 2012: £137Bn

NHS bill in 2012: £125Bn

Education bill in 2012: £90Bn

Deficit in 2012: £170Bn*

do you have a figure of what free school meals actually cost as opposed to the total welfare bill? or figures for how much money is lost through tax avoidance and evasion in the UK, or through government adminstrative errors? what about MP's expenses? i'm sure there's room for movement there.

also, the jubilee and the olympics might 'only' total £12b but i'd rather they were cut than even 1 child being in school hungry.

I think there needs to be a cut off point, for sure, but that's just too low. This government keeps voicing that it aims to show the work shy that they are better off at work than on benefit, but there will be many who think the opposite once this is instigated. I wouldn't mind, but my daughter has lovely meals for £2.42 (she only goes on Friday as she's a fussy five y/o), but they rush her to eat to the point she didn't get a dessert the week before half term, and this has happened more than once. The portion sizes aren't great either- they don't do "seconds" any more as they did in my day. They also don't cater for allergies, so my son wont be partaking of any of them due to severe allergies.
I think there are better things they could cut- bonuses for utilities firms and banks for a start, and this ridiculous notion we can carry off an Olympics with Boris in charge- what a waste of money that has been.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 15:39:18

beenthere - thank you! preens

Someone said above that she was astounded that anyone agreed with this and despairing that they did - actually I'm mildly encouraged by the fact that the vast majority see it for what it is and are angry.

flatpack: The jubilee and olympics are inconsequential compared to the costs of the welfare state.

so it's every penny counts when it's food out of kids mouth but just an inconsequential sum when it's having a big party?

odd priorities.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Apr-12 15:45:25

Cutting the Jubilee would pay for a fair few school dinners, wouldn't it, flatpack? If you had a choice which would you go for?

FrothyOM Thu 19-Apr-12 15:45:26

This is criminality pure and simple Dave.

And class war. Bastard.

Sorry folks, I'm too pissed off to be reasonable.

BoffinMum Thu 19-Apr-12 15:45:53

It's a question of philosophy for me. Do we want to live in a society where there is a strong element of divide and rule, where people are set against each other to argue about how to rob Peter to pay Paul?

Or do we want to grasp the opportunity that financial disaster has brought, in order to rebuild society in a more equitable way, starting with the very basics, such as access to water, food, heating/light, housing, education and health? After WW2 we were considerably poorer, yet we managed to find a way to do that via establishing the NHS, bringing in free secondary and higher education, and expanding the social welfare system considerably. It takes commitment and compassion to do this, but that is something the country had a lot of, at one time.

Yet at the moment, all too often it sounds to me like we are scrabbling about in the first category and missing a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in the second.

Just feed the fucking kids, as Geldof might put it. For fuck's sake.

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 15:46:09

flatpack, you see, the trouble is your lack of consistency.

First you say the list others want to cut will have no effect on the £170bn, then in the same breath you say cutting free school meals will have an impact on your lovely £170bn.

Are you cutting or not? Say very clearly that where you are is, not cutting your little party, while you hold up the shield of the NHS, schools and old people against the obviously uncivilised [at least to some] notion of taking a daily meal from a few kids, who may be yours one day.

We're not talking about a difficult matter that requires in-depth anaylsis. We know what these lunches cost. Does it make a difference to your £170bn? Do you dare say it does, with facts to back it up? Say how you think cutting a few lunches to deprived kids will make a difference. Maybe you're right but we'll never be convinced unless you show us how it will save our "unborn grandchildren".

FrothyOM Thu 19-Apr-12 15:47:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Apr-12 15:47:59

I propose that we pay the FSM bill by imposing a radical new tax...

Impose VAT on caviar. It's currently zero rated.

PeelingmyselfofftheCeiling Thu 19-Apr-12 15:48:30

Anyone who is in favour of this, just try this for a minute.

Imagine tomorrow you are killed in an accident. Your partner is unable to cope with your loss and slides into depression and alcoholism/prescription drug dependency. He loses his job, defaults on the rent/mortgage and alienates friends and family. They try and help but are rebuffed again and again. This goes on for a year, maybe two. Your family have to move to a cheaper area and lose touch with any support. Your partners health begins to suffer, he struggles to get up in the morning to see the kids off to school. They go to school as an escape, it reminds them of their old normal life, and they get their first meal of the day there. On bad days, their only meal of the day.

Now take that meal away from your child 2 years down the line. Still support it?

but our unborn grandchildren might not get to have million pound bonuses anymore that would be terrible!

oh wait, did i say our? i meant their.

BoffinMum Thu 19-Apr-12 15:50:31

The 'sins of the fathers being visited on the grandchildren' argument is an oft-quoted fallacy - we could have had massive economic growth by then and a more stable economy as a consequence, or we could have ticked along in a painful but steady repayment scenario (as we did after WW2).

However if we compromise on basic public nutrition and health needs, then we'll see the return of 1930s style legacy health problems visited on these very same putative grandchildren. We already have rickets, bedbugs and TB - what else do you think we'll start seeing around us if we continue to ignore basic needs?

PeelingmyselfofftheCeiling Thu 19-Apr-12 15:51:05

And I REALLY don't want to offend or upset anyone with that, but it is 'there but for the grace of god go I'.

flatpack Whilst the welfare bill may be 150bn, FSM is not 150bn, it does not make up the entire welfare bill for this country. I also doubt the FSM programme comes to the 12bn you state the Jubilee and Olympics games are totalling. I know which I would rather see scrapped!

As I said in my previous posts, how about scrapping (or even drastically cutting) foreign aid to countries with their own space programme? Bankers bonuses, MP's second home allowances, the high speed rail link (lets be realistic, the way unemployment is going, who will be using the blasted thing anyway?)

There is a list as long as my arm of services or areas that could be and should be cut before we consider letting children go hungry.

JosephineCD Thu 19-Apr-12 16:01:11

The difference between spending money on the Olympics and spending money on school dinners is that the former is a one off, the latter is permanent, and the price only increases every year. We are not in the position we were in post World War 2. Then we made things that the whole world bought. Now we do not. As people have already said, any government can simply spend money that it hasn't got to keep people happy. It's a lot harder to make cuts and try and bring the country into line with what it can really afford.

BoffinMum Thu 19-Apr-12 16:01:54

That's the whole point, isn't it? Nearly all of us are 3-6 pay packets away from major financial discomfort, and 12-24 pay packets away from a degree of poverty we would be ashamed to admit to. It is that tie to earned income that keeps the economy ticking over. Part of that, however, is an acceptance that there will be times people are unable to help themselves. Another part of it is the acceptance of a small degree of abuse of a support system. However overall the benefits to the majority as well as the economy of providing a generous welfare net are so significant that previously this was not regarded as a major problem.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 16:03:30

The difference between spending money on the Olympics and spending money on school dinners is that the former is a one off, the latter is permanent

Like the royal family, you mean?

samandi Thu 19-Apr-12 16:06:26

wheredidiputit

*We have children going to the school i'm a governor at who have to get 2 buses to school which cost £3+/£2+ for each person for each bus. Then you have either £8.50 or £8.75 per child per week for school dinners.

These amount soon add up if you have more then one child. So what happen is the children don't come to school as the parents can not afford fares or food.*

I agree that's pretty rubbish. However, I still find it hard to get my head around parents not being able or willing to look after their kid's health and nutrition by throwing together a half decent meal. Don't they cook for themselves? I never had school dinners and my packed lunches were often just chocolate spread on bread and crisps. But we always had an evening meal, and despite the constant protesting on MN food is actually quite inexpensive if you stick to cheap vegetables, grains and pulses and eat meat sparingly.

JosephineCD Thu 19-Apr-12 16:06:59

The Royal family work for a living! How many other 85 and 90 year olds do you know that work?

Jesus, when did "children our the future" stop being relevant? angry

Dawndonna Thu 19-Apr-12 16:09:21

flatpack repeating the same arguments on all benefits threads, doesn't make the argument correct. You're right, to some extent, everyoe has their own special area. Yours is protecting this government and making everyone think they're wrong and that everything else is inconsequential, you say that about the Olympics, Defence spending and everything else that means this government may just have got something wrong. What I'd rather hear is just how do you justify taking the biggest proportion of necessary cuts from those who are least able to afford it. So far, you've shot everybody else down in flames, backed it up with the same old figures from various websites, and not said once, that actually penalising the disabled, children, the poor and vulnerable is wrong.

PeelingmyselfofftheCeiling Thu 19-Apr-12 16:09:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 16:10:42

TOSN you bring it home, don't you?

I may not be exactly where you are. But I can see why some would say it's OK to turn a blind eye to those who we look to, and away from those we'd rather not be with.

Is this what it's all about? We're OK to let other people's kids sink, when as Bof says most of us are a few pay packets away from them. Just because some of them are not naice people, some even quite objectionable, it's OK to let them all drown? We use all sort of pseudo-science to persuade ourselves about exceptional vs recurrent costs, but in the end all it says is those kids don't eat, and that's OK.

Then there's no need to discuss it anymore, is there? Just look in the mirror and ask yourself who you are.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 16:12:41

"The Royal family work for a living! How many other 85 and 90 year olds do you know that work?"

for what employer?

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 16:12:46

and remember who you are every time you vote

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 16:13:02

I'm not sure where I'd make cuts - but this article suggests foreign aid could be looked at.

blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100088432/cameron-should-scrap-the-foreign-aid-budget-not-increase-it/

From there we spend :

"actually, £8 billion now (rising to £11.4 billion in 2015)"
...
"The biggest recipient of our foreign aid largesse is currently Pakistan to which over the next four years we will be sending a total of £1.4 billion. This is roughly the same amount that Pakistan has earmarked to spend on a new fleet of Chinese made submarines; these will go nicely with the two squadrons of Chinese J-10 fighters which Pakistan has also bought at a cost of $1.4 billion. So, in effect, our foreign aid donations are helping to underwrite the military expansion of the country which until recently was shielding the world's number one Islamist terrorist,"

I think we also give money to countries with space programs ? I think its India?

Perhaps as we are one of the world richest countries,according to wikipedia were are 7th in world, we should look after our own poor DC first. Honestly FSM are one meal for what 39 weeks.

I'm really surprised so many are arguing it is not possible. I'll watch with interest at what they actually decide to do.

embiscotti Thu 19-Apr-12 16:14:27

Hi,

I work for The Children's Society - don't want to hijack discussion, but just wanted to add that there is a petition action.childrenssociety.org.uk/fair-and-square and the hashtag is #fairandsquare if you want to spread the word on Twitter smile

Hungrymum78 Thu 19-Apr-12 16:15:59

Visit The Children's Society website for more info on their campaign for Free School Meals
http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/fairandsquare

SIGN THE PETITION to ensure the poorest children get the free school meals they need

http://action.childrenssociety.org.uk/page/s/fair-and-square-free-school-meals-campaign

It breaks my heart. I struggle as it is on benefits, but I know I will go without to provide food for my children, a warm and clean home, clothes that fit and plenty of love and support.

However, I live in a deprived area where I saw kids being brought into school midwinter with no jackets and shoes in terrible conditions, without food and often coming from horrible home situations, to think that they would for those six hours be well fed, warm and safe, but now it's potentially being taken away. I cried for some of those kids, school is a haven for them, now I am plain worried about the way this country is going.

Hungrymum78 Thu 19-Apr-12 16:17:11

with links :-)

Visit The Children's Society website for more info on their campaign for Free School Meals
www.childrenssociety.org.uk/fairandsquare

SIGN THE PETITION to ensure the poorest children get the free school meals they need

action.childrenssociety.org.uk/page/s/fair-and-square-free-school-meals-campaign

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 16:19:36

I don't really want to make this all about the royals, as it seems almost too obvious a great big stupid unfair anomaly even to point out.

However. My 89 year old widowed grandfather works harder every bloody day just running his house and staying afloat than the Duke of fucking Edinburgh has ever done. He had a job until retirement, of course. Some jobs you can't keep doing - and aren't allowed to - until you just die.

Voidka Thu 19-Apr-12 16:23:57

I am a big fan of the royals (sorry tosn blush) but even I can see that the DofE doesnt exactly work very hard.

bronze Thu 19-Apr-12 16:25:03

Someone mentioned it earlier. Perhaps Jamie Olivier should be contacted, no point him fighting for decent schools
meals if no one can bloody afford them

The Royal family work for a living? Really?

If only every 'job' could involve being whisked around on private jets, attending gala dinners, hospital openings, meeting dignitaries and giving a smile and a wave to the crowds. And of course, receiving and allowance from the public purse! hmm

I don't actually have a major issue with the Royals, generally. But to say they are 'working' is just bonkers. Tell that to the people trying to live on NMW.

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 16:27:14

Last place we live our 90 year old neighbor worked part time - that was her choice though. Many retired grandparents here up to late 70s do varying amounts of childcare for their working DCs.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 16:28:25

God, don't get Jamie Oliver in, he caused more damage than good last time as far as I can see.

I will desist with the royal stuff cos it's a bit reductive I suppose - basically it's just scummy to look at FSM to cut, though, and once again the Tories head straight for those most vulnerable and most in need when thinking about how to save their pennies, and it's despicable.

Also, the implications pointed out earlier about FSM as a measure for the school in terms of funding, ranking etc are immense.

They haven't thought it through. Again.

minimathsmouse Thu 19-Apr-12 16:31:08

I like the royal family but if it were a choice of feeding children or keeping the queen, I'd sell the royal family and everything they owned.

Maybe we could auction them off somewhere, somewhere that can afford to keep them.

Shagmundfreud Thu 19-Apr-12 16:37:28

I would be removing private schools' charitable status. That should raise a bob or two. I don't know any genuinely poor people who have managed to get a bursary for their children. All those families I know who have bursaries and scholarships somehow managed to fund many hours of private tutoring before sitting entrance exams.

porcamiseria Thu 19-Apr-12 16:39:19

I dunno (ref Jamie O)

he riased ALOT of awarness
OK nothing has changed, but people view school meals very differently, seed was planted IMO

bronze Thu 19-Apr-12 16:41:43

Wouldn't call us poor (but not wealthy either) Shag but no way could have afforded to pay fees without scholarship and bursary. No tutoring paid for. Ot though

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 16:42:15

See I kind of think he stormed in without thinnking it through or taking any advice, wanting to be a saviour figure and all that... and saying 'this ain't about my kids, cos my kids ain't going to state school' got my goat as well!

What actually happened, at my dds' school, was they quickly took off all the turkey twizzlers but replaced it with crappy 'healthy options' like 'cheese sandwich', which then cost more because there was less uptake as all the savvy parents had either been giving packed lunches all along, or else stopped paying for dinners sharpish after JO. So essentially school dinners seemed to get worse and cost more!

ouryve Thu 19-Apr-12 16:42:43

If there really are 350,000 kids who would be affect by this, the amount saved would be around £0.1 Billion pa. It would take about 20 years for that to equal the cost of the Jubilee celebrations quoted above.

So it's all very well crying that the welfare bill for this country is huge, but the amount that taking a hot dinner away from these children would save is piddling in comparison.

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 16:44:45

shagmund yes that sounds like a good idea. It must make a difference, and I'd be happy to pay more and even turn a blind eye to the schools not getting more efficient.

There are all sorts of legal consequences changing from charitable status, but that's nothing compared to losing a daily meal. Much better than all the stuff done to justify charitable status.

Shagmundfreud Thu 19-Apr-12 17:13:40

Bronze - what's your household income if you don't mind me asking.

If your child is clever enough to get in to a selective school without any tutoring - even from you - and you are supportive (as I'm sure you are) the evidence suggests success at a state secondary is pretty much a given. Really it should be the thickoes who should get the additional boost that a private education can give them, if we're thinking about best use of money for the tax payer.

Rhinosaurus Thu 19-Apr-12 17:15:16

That's a disgrace. For some kids that is the only meal they get all day. What are school staff supposed to do when kids with no packed lunch or school dinner money are crying with hunger? Are those kids supposed to sit and watch the ones with lunch eat?

I bet school staff will end up feeding them out of their own pocket. Again, the government is relying on good will to pick up the tab.

bronze Thu 19-Apr-12 17:19:39

Erm under 30k, 4 kids, nearly half goes on rent blush I think we're lucky as its over national average but I wouldn't put us in wealthy category. Of course that's a comparative thing anyway.

I mentioned Jamie oliver as he does have influence and gets headlines

bronze Thu 19-Apr-12 17:23:17

Meant to say They have been to state previously (more than one) dd is still at state and will probably stay there.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 17:25:41

One of my DCs has school dinners. This is because it was a sweetner when we moved him from mainstream to a SNS.
Our LA charge 1.75 a day so cheaper than many on here.

My two younger DCs will not be having school dinners when they start school. There is no way we could afford three lots of fees.

I looked into free school meals a while back and although our income was low enough we were ineligible because we got WTC.

Fair enough. My DCs wont starve. It would have been nice to get but we will get by.

BUT THIS! If we cannot manage on our income how the hell are people going to manage on incomes even lower than ours?

I would prefer my DCs to have school dinners. Its easier for me and if we cant get to the shop I dont have to worry about finding something for their packed lunches.
But its not the end of the world.

This ridiculously low cap WILL be a disaster for so many children.

The only positive thing is that the Tories are showing themselves to be the elitist, wankerbastards that they really are.

I just hope we can get them out before they ruin even more lives.

carernotasaint Thu 19-Apr-12 17:28:34

i dont have children but this cut absolutely disgusts me.
Someone upthread said something about turning up at school with a portable BBQ. What about loads of mumsnetters doing this en masse on exactly the same day and continuing to do so.
Apparently the cold weather payments will stop under Universal Credit as well.

bronze Thu 19-Apr-12 17:29:32

That's how I feel Mrs De V if it tight for us then how on worth do they expect people on minimum wage etc to manage

NarkedPuffin Thu 19-Apr-12 17:31:31

Tory scum.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 19-Apr-12 17:35:16

Not so keen on the idea of bountifully doling out BBQ sausages to hollow-cheeked waifs, I must say - a good stunt, maybe, but pretty humilating for the nippers!

FrothyOM Thu 19-Apr-12 17:43:28

Cold weather payments?!

not content with starving poor kids they have to freeze them too?!

JuliaScurr Thu 19-Apr-12 17:46:39

Old Grey No they didn't. American multinational banks caused the crisis, ably assisted by neo-liberal govts.
thereisanalternative

JuliaScurr Thu 19-Apr-12 17:48:08

My dd and her friends aren't humiliated

carernotasaint Thu 19-Apr-12 17:49:51

Two things .....has anyone been watching Eastenders in the last week or so. They showed Bianca going without food so that she could feed her kids. There was a thread about precisely that on here a few months back so i do wonder if some of the writers on these programmes read threads on the internet.
......also might be worth keeping an eye on question time and newsnight tonight to see if they cover this.
Nit i do get your point but i think the hunger would win out over humiliation.

minimathsmouse Thu 19-Apr-12 17:50:09

Julia is right, assisted by the IMF and it's imposing upon member debtor nations such crippling austerity. They set the indicator of true poverty at $1.25 a day.

moggle Thu 19-Apr-12 17:55:13

Am I being thick, but I read that article and it doesn't actually say the tories are even thinking about implementing a cap of £7500? I know it says they are "considering a new streamlined system of universal credit " but it looks like the figure £7500 was arbitrarily picked by the charity... seems very misleading of them to do that and present it as a fact.
(I do hate the tories with an absolute passion, but while they might cut welfare ... this particular income cap to £7500?! I don't see even them doing that, and the article doesn't say they are planning to).

JuliaScurr Thu 19-Apr-12 18:15:40

YY mini $1.25 for us proles, not for themselves, obviously

JuliaScurr Thu 19-Apr-12 18:22:28
FrothyOM Thu 19-Apr-12 18:24:35

I watched that episode with Bianca not eating.

Netmums did a survey recently where a shocking proportion of mums said thay were missing meals. I wondered if the Eastenders writers had seen that when I watched it!

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Thu 19-Apr-12 18:32:26

I feel very much as you do on this MrsDV except that my two DCs have always had school dinners because I feel it's more nutritious for them and it helps me as well.
We probably do need to cut back on some aspect of our family expenditure, but I'm reluctant to give this up as I feel it's both valuable to them and helpful to us all.
I'm sorry more children are not able to benefit from a good, hot meal at lunch time. When I was a child almost everyone had the school dinner option - 12p a day for many years = 60p a week smile
And that with this proposal it will be taken away from many who need it most.

I think the Finns have the right idea actually in providing a free meal for all children at school. They'll probably save a fortune in the long run through the improved health and well-being of their future adult citizens, especially when combined with their excellent early years provision which of course will also pay dividends for many years.

topmumma Thu 19-Apr-12 18:33:09

oh no you will have to pay for your own kids meal !!!! jeez these are your kids if you cant afford to feed them then dont have kids !!! i'm on low income and dont claim for free meals....

cinnamonswirls Thu 19-Apr-12 18:34:11

Hmm as an idea could charitable status on all independent schools be removed and they be taxed as businesses - would that raise enough money to pay for FSM for children in the lowest income families?

Mmm probably not if they are taxed like Goldman Sachs or Vodaphone - but is an idea. Don't worry Mr Osbourne I won't charge you normal special advisor rates appreciate you're counting the pennies!

molepom Thu 19-Apr-12 18:34:36

I think getting as many celebrities involved as much as possible is a good idea...

hear me out,

The only time the gov or officials take any notice is when it's plastered all over the media , now, there are thousands of petitions against one thing or another at the moment and NONE of them are being noticed, wether they make the total number of signatures needed or not.

If we have to use celebs to get this noticed in the media, on tv, in papers, in the news...then so be it. The only time the gov ever seem to take any notice is when they are forced to by the media...look at the benefit reforms for the disabled and Ill...massive campaigns everywhere but hardly a mention on the news, and these reforms are disgusting, the new Universal credit thing is going to be a disaster, the only time the gov EVER took any notice of ANYTHING was the fiasco about the workfare programe...and that was only because of coverage on the news due to the chaos and uproar that had been created by FB and twitter.

molepom Thu 19-Apr-12 18:36:43

It just seems to me that if a big enough stink is made on social networking sites, the media will pick it up then the pressure on the Government is made.

JuliaScurr Thu 19-Apr-12 18:37:10

top circumstances change. Why don't you claim fsm for your kids?

bronze Thu 19-Apr-12 18:39:29

Topmumma what about the families where one parent has died or lost their job through accident or illness. What about through unexpected redundancy (know how that one feels)? Even where the parents could have been more responsible is it right to starve children?

BonnieBumble Thu 19-Apr-12 18:42:13

topmumma. That is a very ignorant thing to say. Unless you have a wealthy generous family you could find yourself in this position one day.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 18:43:48

"oh no you will have to pay for your own kids meal !!!! jeez these are your kids if you cant afford to feed them then dont have kids !!! i'm on low income and dont claim for free meals...."

idiot. try thinking past the end of your nose. have your circumstances remained the same since the day your were born?

minimathsmouse Thu 19-Apr-12 18:46:47

Top, disregard the parents and questions about whether people should/shouldn't have children.

This is about whether children should/shouldn't eat. Rather more important really.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Thu 19-Apr-12 18:53:07

I guess topmumma takes pride in being able to provide for her children. Well, I guess I do too as far as I'm able to, which with my DH is pretty adequately, whilst claiming the basic benefits to which we're entitled (CB and some CTC)
If we were entitled to FSMs we'd claim those too as I like them to have a school dinner and the school also gets extra funding for children who do claim which benefits other children in the school too.

yep, if you are entitled to, but not claiming, fsm you are causing your school to miss out on funding.

Dawndonna Thu 19-Apr-12 19:00:17

topmumma Off course you are on a low income dear, you do not punctuate, use capital letters, and far too many exclamation marks.
hmm
In the meantime, those of us that had bloody good jobs before our dh became disabled are just about keeping our heads above water.

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Thu 19-Apr-12 19:03:25

Leaving DC to go hungry is surely unpleasant for the child and morally questionable.

If they are distressed, irritable, distracted, disruptive through hunger or hyped up on poor food full of additives so their behavior is difficult to mange - it impact on the teaching staff and the rest of the DC in the class.

So while it great topmumma takes pride in being able to provide for her children - it is an issue that could affect schools more wildly than it first appears.

Not that anything has apparently been decided on yet.

gloriafloria Thu 19-Apr-12 19:04:19

This is the most ridiculous idea yet from our Government although I cannot see where this has been officially quoted.

I believe that FSM should be given to all children with the long term view being a country full of healthier children resulting in lower healthcare costs.

FSM is probably the one benefit that we know will 100% benefit the CHILD and should NEVER be taken away. The parents who for whatever reason are not capable of providing meals for their children and choose to spend their CB and other benefits on booze/fags cannot get their hands on this benefit and so I will protest loudly and sign any petition going to highlight the value of this benefit.

Does anyone remember the 'Thatcher the Milk Snatcher'. What can we come up with for Cameron and Clegg??

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 19:08:16

i agree gloria i think all school meals should be free.

Meglet England Thu 19-Apr-12 19:15:01

AFAIK if you work you don't get FSM anyway confused. (yes, I need to read the thread).

I earn just over £8k a year and get working tax credit so I'm not able to claim free school meals.

Currently paying £40 a month for DS's dinners, will be £80 a month when DD starts next year. I've really noticed the money going out every week.

Tiggles Thu 19-Apr-12 19:43:16

Sorry if this has already been asked, meant to be working and haven't time to read all the thread.
By quick calculation, if DH and I were to lose our jobs and start claiming benefits, in our area we would get £500 a month for a 3 bed house so 6k a year and then as we have 3 children we get over £2000 a year in child benefit. So by the theory of this report just by getting housing benefit and child benefit (irrespective of any tax credits/JSA/council tax benefit etc) we would not be able to claim free school meals just because we have 3 kids.
Doesn't sound quite right to me, or are they looking at income after house etc paid for?? (Seeing that this is a report not by the government about something that is thought might happen).

i think it must be excluding HB or no one in london would be entitled to it afaics.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 20:01:32

I also think all school meals should be free.
Having them as an 'add on' is giving the message that a hot, decent meal in the middle of the day is some sort of luxury.

Education is paid for from our taxes, sports, some music, art etc so why have they singled out food as an extra ?

It doesnt make sense. You can have as many health drives, Jamie Olivers, educational food programes as you like but as long as we keep sending the message that feeding our nation's children is optional, they all seem a bit pointless.

BoffinMum Thu 19-Apr-12 20:02:07

Right, what would it actually cost to give every child in the UK a free hot dinner and half a pint of milk every schoolday?

noddyholder Thu 19-Apr-12 20:02:08

Well said mrsdevere

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 20:04:56

That was a little bit unclear - I meant sports, art & music at school. blush

I've often found that odd MrsDV. I suppose you could also argue you need clothes for school therefore they should be free. But "lunch" is an integral part of the school day, so it seems odd that it should have to be paid for.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 20:08:07

school dinners here are 2.20 a day and half a pint of milk is between £3 and £5 a term depending on which term it is. i have no idea how many schoolchildren there are in teh UK though.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 20:10:43

We dont have to pay for keeping the children warm or for their drinking water or toilet facilities seperately do we?

I think it harks back to when most children went home for their dinners. I remember having home dinners and I am a shimz off 45.

Perhaps they should bring back that option? The resulting chaos should shake things up a bit grin

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 19-Apr-12 20:15:37

If children are going hungry and not being fed, then social services should step in.

We have a very generous welfare state already and charities "poverty" ink the UK is not poverty at all.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 20:15:38

i think the way they (whoever they are) see it is that sports, music, art etc all form part of the educatoon of the child, whereas eating doesn't (at it's most basic level anyway) so it isn't funded as standard out of taxes. however, i do think schools could use the school dinners as a starting point for educating children about healthy eating. i know lunch boxes are heavily policed but school dinners aren't discussed with the children, they are just dished out. i think it would be a great way of making sure the schools were providing healthy dinners if part of their curriculum involved the children learning about what they are actually eating and it forming part of the syllabus. and yes i know it is up to parent's to educate their dcs on healthy eating, but we could say that about all the other things school teach them aswell really so i dont see why it couldn't become part of normal school life to have even one session a week looking at the food tehy are being served and what the nurtitional value of everything is.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 20:16:56

yes yes HMOO, that's nice hmm, meanwhile in reality.

happyinherts Thu 19-Apr-12 20:17:55

Has the Children's Society charity not realised up until now that families earning very little money DO NOT get free schools meals ??

Why the sudden outrage of it being taken away - it was never given in the first place as one of the posters above who earns £8K a year will confirm.

Our family income is around £10k - never had free school meals for the children and now lost the EMA for a 6th former Why has the Children's Society suddenly issued this statement or report. it's not a new thing. Poor children have lost out for a long time and no one has cared less.

londonone Thu 19-Apr-12 20:18:09

If you can't afford to feed them then WTF are you doing having children. I refuse to believe that every child on FSM is the child of a person who has suddenly fallen on hard times. The fact is millions of people who can't afford to look after themselves without benefits go on and have children they can in no real way support.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 20:19:21

Yes happy that would be so very much cheaper than providing one hot meal a day hmm

Why wait until a child is hungry before reacting in a draconian way? A way that entails many working hours at great cost.

There is this need to punish the poor isnt there? To somehow prove that it is 'their' fault and thus not our problem.

Actually I can see that if one hot meal a day is keeping a neglected child from being picked up by SS then that is a bad thing. But that would be a failing of the system, not an argument against feeding children. And there will be plenty of children whose parents love them and do not neglect them, but are fed sub-standard diets.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 20:21:46

"There is this need to punish the poor isnt there? To somehow prove that it is 'their' fault and thus not our problem."

yes there is. it's disgusting.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 20:22:37

happy I suppose because they are now going for the very poorest.
I have long thought it a bit hmm that the rules on FSM exclude the working poor.

There is no doubt that if this new policy is introduced the most vulnerable children will suffer.

I would imagine that those working in the sector have been watching with growing alarm the way the Tories are dismantling the welfare system. This is an opportunity for them to make a point.

it certainly seems as though the people bearing the brunt of the cost savings are the people who have little, and already struggle.

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Thu 19-Apr-12 20:23:55

londonone your name is very apt

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 20:24:38

stealth but those children may not be neglected. They may simply be poor. happymum didnt mention wilful neglect. She was talking about children not getting fed.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 20:25:01

"The fact is millions of people who can't afford to look after themselves without benefits go on and have children they can in no real way support."

millions? and this is a fact is it? where did you learn this fact?

Dawndonna Thu 19-Apr-12 20:25:19

HappyMummy Is that the generous welfare state that pays me £55.00pw to look after four disabled people. To work an eighteen hour day, everyday, with no holidays, no respite care, and no physical help at all? Even on an eight hour day that works out as less than an pound an hour.

psammyad Thu 19-Apr-12 20:25:58

The £7500 mentioned by the Children's Society is an "earning threshold" not an income threshold.

Meglet - to take you as an example smile - it looks to me like the govt. has worked out and that under it's fabulous new Universal Credit System (which will eventually replace Tax Credits?), someone in your position might end up entitled to free school meals when you aren't under the current rules. And then thought "Oh No, we can't have that, more children will be designated as under the poverty line and attract pupil premium funding to their schools." And then changed the rules so that doesn't happen.

If the Children's Society report is correct (don't know much about them either way) and the current rules already mean that 700,000 children under the poverty line don't receive free school meals - e.g. because their parent get Working Tax Credit but are very low-waged - then that's a scandal already and we should be trying to fix the rules to make sure more children not less get a decent hot meal in the middle of the day.

I don't care about the parents of these children, much. I don't care if they are lazy, feckless, poor planners, I don't care if they're drug dealers. I don't want to be part of a society that punishes their children for this. They will already be subject to massive educational and health inequality, let's withold food from them as well hmm

marriedinwhite Thu 19-Apr-12 20:27:54

The state provides a free education. I'm not sure why it should automatically provide a free meal as well. If children were not at school they would have to be fed and that should be the responsibility of parents. FWIW when my dc were at primary school, it cost me more than £1.80 per day to give them a healthy and nutritious packed lunch which was the option I chose because I was not convinced the school meal was either healthy or nutritious.

What is a problem is children might suffer because they have parents who haven't thought about the number of children they can afford or who expect the state to provide for all their needs.

Those who can't need help and lots of it, those who won't need to be put in more difficult places.

i think we're asying the same MrsDV. There may be some families where the only thing masking the parents wilful neglect of their child is the fact they receive a school dinner. Which is bad. But I doubt there are many. There will be more where the child eats a poor diet and the parent barely eats - down to money.

Migsy1 Thu 19-Apr-12 20:28:44

Shocking! Food is really expensive and a school meal might be the only proper meal a child might get. I think this Government wants people to be in a benefit trap they way they are carrying on reducing tax credits etc.

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 20:29:01

Quite stealth This government seem intent on taking John Major's back to victorian values to a whole new level.

We are to be punished out of poverty.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 20:31:21

"Those who can't need help and lots of it, those who won't need to be put in more difficult places."

can you explain what you mean by this please? those who cant do what and those who wont do what?

BoffinMum Thu 19-Apr-12 20:32:16

Marriedinwhite, I think the point people are making is that most people do try to plan their families so they can finance them independently, but that ill health, unexpected long term redundancy or similar bad fortune can put them in a position they never expected to be in, where finding enough food for the family is a daily battle.

Other people are making the point that it is a long term health time bomb if young children are malnourished over a long period of time, and it will be more expensive for all of us in the end.

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Thu 19-Apr-12 20:32:52

Here Here Stealth

What do you mean married in white?
"Those who can't need help and lots of it, those who won't need to be put in more difficult places."

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 20:35:13

But married they are not out of school and are not allowed to be out of school.
They are in school, by law, from the age of 5 to 16.

There is no choice unless we all HE and god knows how the country would cope if we all did that.

So we are required by law to send our children to an institution that does not feed them.

Our only choice is to pay for a meal over which we have no control or to send them with an assortment of cold food.

I can feed all of the 3 dcs I have at home for the price of one school meal.

If I paid for all of mine to have lunch that would cost me £5.25 a day for ONE meal. For others it would cost £6.60!

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 19-Apr-12 20:36:17

"HappyMummy Is that the generous welfare state that pays me £55.00pw to look after four disabled people. To work an eighteen hour day, everyday, with no holidays, no respite care, and no physical help at all? Even on an eight hour day that works out as less than an pound an hour"

I doubt very very much that £55pw is all you get in benefits. CA is meant to be a welfare benefit not a living wage as looking after your family is what people do. Factor in CTC, CB, HB/Morgage Support, no council tax paymeny, FSM, free trips and prescriptions etc and i'd guess its far more than thousands earn.

Agree with married, providing free education should be standard but its a parents job to feed any children they choose to bring into the world.

FrothyOM Thu 19-Apr-12 20:37:05

These Tory bastards have the exact same mentality as the Victorians who made children split rope in the workhouses.

Funnily enough it didn't prevent poverty. The only thing known to ever prevent poverty is a welfare state.

Punishing poor kids has NEVER worked and even if it did it's fucking immoral.

noblegiraffe Thu 19-Apr-12 20:40:13

What is the fucking point of providing a free education for kids who are too hungry/faint to concentrate properly on it?

Dawndonna Thu 19-Apr-12 20:40:35

HappyMummy you obviously haven't a clue. Life is hard, life is tight. Just remember that there was a time when this household brought in a very good wage. We didn't choose this, just as we didn't choose for people like you to be rude to us and to judge us.
Thank you for your kind thoughts and sympathy, much appreciated.
All the best,
Benefit Scrounging Scum.
Yep, that's how posts such as yours, make people like me feel.
Think on.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 20:41:51

"CA is meant to be a welfare benefit not a living wage as looking after your family is what people do"

people who care for family members very often have to give up work in order to provide the level of care the person needs. are you honestly saying that £55 a week is enough of an allowance to replace the lost income of even a minimum wage job?

ctc and cb are not benefits given to people just for being carers, tehy would still have these benefits regardless of whether their family member was disabled or not because tehy would still have teh children.

FrothyOM Thu 19-Apr-12 20:42:51

Why is it a parents job to feed their kids but not pay for their education? Eh? You brought them into the world you pay for them.

I mean, why should a childless person pay for your kids to go to school?

Oh wait some people deserve their portion of the welfare state.(and yes free education and healthcare are part of a welfare state)

Happy mum of one, IMO you just think poor people are undeserving because that's your argument taken to it's logical conclusion.

ImperialBlether England Thu 19-Apr-12 20:44:48

There was a really interesting programme on Radio 4 a while ago about free school meals in Sweden. Don't know about you, but I'd always thought that Sweden was a more middle class country that didn't suffer from the same social deprivations as us.

There was a borough in Sweden where they carried out an experiment. They brought in free school meals for every child in the borough, regardless of income. The rule was that nobody could bring in any food or drink, though of course they could go home for a meal. The meals were freshly cooked and very healthy. The children could eat as much as they liked (this proved crucial). The exam results soared.

They then realised some children were coming to school on a Monday morning absolutely starving - they'd eaten just crap since their last school lunch. They decided to give the kids a free breakfast. Again, a healthy breakfast - bread, cheese, ham, fruit - no limit to how much they could eat. The rule was they couldn't eat at home first. The exam results went sky high.

They were at the point of deciding to give free evening meals before the children went home. The problem was that they would then have to limit social security money for the children, given all food was eaten at school during the week. Parents were up in arms.

It was such an enlightening programme. I work in a college and many students don't have lunch - it's clear they can't afford it. So many buy Coke and crisps for breakfast (which is clearly more than buying bread and eggs etc) and misbehave all morning.

I wish we had a government that would think long term and look at what other countries are doing.

thirdhill Thu 19-Apr-12 20:48:34

OK I see there are a fair few who say that if your parents shouldn't have had you, you should not eat. And some who think you'll be OK because social services will sort out what your parent/s were so bad at. Isn't this like where we all agree it wasn't my job or their job or your job, and that it was definitely somebody's job, but nobody did it, in the end? Assuming you're not an uncivilised psychopath who can't see past your existing condition.

Can't child benefit be set at the same income cap as free school meals? All those experts with their figures can surely show us losing CB from £16k will easily pay for a few lunches. Oops we had trouble with £40k, would there be riots with £16k? Why do some of us get charitable relief for our children's education if the nation cannot afford to feed a lot more children? Restricting it to children, here, so we don't raid the coffers of the old and sick etc.

Perhaps we can avoid all this by cancelling obstetric services if people can't prove they can feed their kids for say 16 years? Darn, that will still leave the ones whose fortunes changed after they were born, and those who didn't "fail to be born". All over the world there are people who walk away from hungry children, maybe we need to try that here too?

londonone Thu 19-Apr-12 20:52:18

booyhoo - The millions of families in receipt of tax credits and the enormous outcry at any reduction in these is fairly clear evidence that millions of people are not financially supporting their children.

Boffin mum - "I think the point people are making is that most people do try to plan their families so they can finance them independently, but that ill health, unexpected long term redundancy or similar bad fortune can put them in a position they never expected to be in, where finding enough food for the family is a daily battle."

I have to disagree with this, many people simply factor tax credits etc in as money they have. Mumsnet is full of stories of people who are scrapingf by but have another child on the way. Of course there are some people who have unexpected changes in circumstances, but I do not think that this is the majority.

marriedinwhite Thu 19-Apr-12 20:53:51

I wish we had a society that was less entitled and prepared to take responsibiity for the individual actions within it.

What I mean by those who can't is that those who have become disabled and cannot work need help and lots of it; likewise those who are unemployed and cannot find work, any work, need help and lots of it. I do not think those who start from no work and no home and who produce several children in a thoughless manner shoudl be allowed to be entitled to live as well as though who have planned and who are prepared to work. I have no truck for the ex executive who was on 60-70k and who refuses from a sense of pride to work for 25k.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 20:58:36

"booyhoo - The millions of families in receipt of tax credits and the enormous outcry at any reduction in these is fairly clear evidence that millions of people are not financially supporting their children."

that isn't the same as "millions of people who can't afford to look after themselves without benefits go on and have children they can in no real way support."

you have no proof at all that the above is true or indeed 'fact'

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 21:00:06

It is a ridiculous notion that feckless, disorganised, drug addled parents who do not feed their children now will suddenly be spurred into providing a hot meal if FSM are withdrawn.

The point I am making is who decided and why did they decide that my taxes were enough to cover every part of my (and those who do not currently pay tax) childrens' 'free' education - apart from the bit where they get fed?

When was this decision made? I would be willing to place bets that it was made a very long time ago. In a different age for reasons that we would probably think hmm about now (when I say 'we' I dont mean the Tories obviously)

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 21:01:00

"I do not think those who start from no work and no home and who produce several children in a thoughless manner shoudl be allowed to be entitled to live as well as though who have planned and who are prepared to work."

so do you think their children should be left to go hungry day after day because of what their parents chose to do?

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Thu 19-Apr-12 21:01:24

marriedinwhite please pop yourself down to roehampton or furzedown and talk to some people to see how real life actually unfurls itself

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 21:02:06

i think you are right MrsDV.

psammyad Thu 19-Apr-12 21:13:48

"I wish we had a society that was less entitled and prepared to take responsibiity for the individual actions within it."

Funnily enough, I wish we had a society that was less entitled and prepared to take responsibiity for the individual actions within it, too.

We could start with the big businesses that employ adults at minimum wage, on part-time or zero contract hours so that they have no option but to claim tax credits and benefits in order to make their wages up to a livable income to support a family. That would bring the Free School Meals budget down a bit, as well as that for a few other benefits.

youngermother1 Thu 19-Apr-12 21:14:33

If you read the OP link, this is not a government proposal. At present, people on certain benefits qualify for free school meals here.
When the new universal credit is introduced instead, there will have to be a consideration of how free school meals eligibility is decided - the £7,500 number is made up by the charity for a news story. No number or eligibility requirement has yet been decided by the govt.
yet more scaremongering before the facts are know to create a storm.

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Thu 19-Apr-12 21:17:49

thank god for charity's such as these as with such pathetic government done-deal "consultation" periods there is no time to galvanize thought and action

youngermother1 Thu 19-Apr-12 21:21:34

So the govt is guilty for something a charity made up?

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Thu 19-Apr-12 21:24:30

no but its not unlikely that they have wind of something in the offing so its good to have the proverbial heads up

youngermother1 Thu 19-Apr-12 21:45:08

If there was any evidence, they would have quoted it, or 'sources'. This is just another 'hit the govt as the local elections are next month' scare stories.

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Thu 19-Apr-12 21:56:07

LOL

psammyad Thu 19-Apr-12 22:00:10

www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/tcs/fair_and_square_research_report_final.pdf is the link to the "Fair and Square" report by the Children's Society.

Page 14 "What does the future of free school meals look like" is where they discuss the 'potential impact on the income of a lone parent with three school-aged children with an earnings limit of £7500 to be placed on FSM entitlement".

It does seem to be them who have made up the figure of £7500 hmm though they say (note 30 on the last page) that they have based it on indications from page 47 of the the govt's White Paper "Universal Credit: Welfare that Works:

www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/universal-credit-full-document.pdf

The "Fair and Square" report seems to mostly be a call to use the implementation of Universal Credit to reform Free School Meals so that more children under the poverty line can receive it than currently do so - i.e. to extend it to children of low-income parents who would be claiming Universal Credit to top up their wages.

With the added effect of reducing the stigma of FSM entitlement by extending it to (low) waged as well as workless households.

If there's been scaremongering and making assumptions about where the £7500 figure has come from, it seems to be more from the Guardian and the Independent articles on the report, tbh.

carernotasaint Thu 19-Apr-12 22:00:31

Happymummyofone i remember asking you a question on a thread a few months ago and you never answered it
So i will ask again....Do you claim your Child Benefit?
HappyMummy no one chooses to be disabled.
You are showing the same attitude that it was ok to have towards black people before the Race Relations Act 1976.
No one who showed racism back then thought of themselves as racist even though they were.
And no one like you thinks that they are disablist now even though they are.Many people pre 1976 didnt think that they were being racist because it wasnt enshrined in law.
And many disablists like you think that they arent disablist now because it isnt enshrined in law. Because disabilism isnt seen in the same context as racism even though it should be. Because your comments upthread directed at the poster who claims Carers Allowance were disabilist. disability discrimination by association.

fluffypillow Thu 19-Apr-12 22:03:27

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9031084/Healthy-appetite-for-moaning-despite-MPs-5.8m-meal-deal.html

Greedy, greedy pigs.

Lets feed the children that are suffering under this government, not the selfish politicians that feel hard done by due to 'soggy chips' ahhhh bless them.

psammyad Thu 19-Apr-12 22:04:41

Specifically, the Guardian report says this:

"In a report entitled Fair and Square, the charity says the proposed universal credit system, which comes into force in October 2013, will stop paying for certain benefits if a household earns more than £7,500."

while the Fair and Square report actually just uses the £7500 as an example (unless they do know something we don't about what threshold figures the govt. is actually planning to use.)

jellybeans Thu 19-Apr-12 22:10:45

That is just plain wrong. Sick bastards whoevers idea it is.

NK493efc93X1277dd3d6d4 Thu 19-Apr-12 22:12:30

Surely we all have a responsibility to feed our own kids. All this drama about kids going hungry - send sandwiches or pasta if the school meals are expensive.

Want2bSupermum Thu 19-Apr-12 22:13:31

I have never understoody why meals and snacks are not provided at no cost for all school children. It would cut down on the risks for those with food allergies.

As to budget constraints, I would like to see MP's take a haircut with their benefits before they ask their constituents and their children do to so. In our house we go without so our DD and her future siblings don't/won't have to. It is hypocritical to ask others to take a hit on their standard of living without taking a cut yourself. Not looking after the disabled and children lowers my living standard.

IAmBooyhoo Thu 19-Apr-12 22:14:02

oh look another one that cant see past the end of their own nose.

knowwhenyouhavebeenbeaten Thu 19-Apr-12 22:14:28

Of course its a ridicuous idea. The very poor will suffer. sad

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Thu 19-Apr-12 22:14:58

Yes and let them eat cake whilst they are at it.

youngermother1 Thu 19-Apr-12 22:15:03

This is the quote from psammyad's link:

We will replace the current rules, which base entitlement on receipt of certain benefits, to a simpler and fairer system that bases entitlement on an income or earnings threshold. We, along with the other relevant government departments, will consider the appropriate level for these thresholds, but will aim to ensure that the benefits are awarded to broadly the same number of people as currently, whilst looking to graduate the thresholds to ensure individuals do not have a number of passported benefits reduced at the same time.

therefore any suggestions that many will lose out is counter to govt published documentation

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Thu 19-Apr-12 22:21:17

"We, along with the other relevant government departments, will consider the appropriate level for these thresholds, but will aim to ensure that the benefits are awarded to broadly the same number of people as currently, whilst looking to graduate the thresholds to ensure individuals do not have a number of passported benefits reduced at the same time."

doh, this could easily mean that they the govt. will select that the threshold could be just for those over £70,000 and still give out the same amount. IT SAYS NOTHING

Waswildatheart Thu 19-Apr-12 22:24:15

Free school meals is one of the measures used to work out the budget allocated to a school - schools with more children on free school meals get a bigger budget to meet the educational needs. Will fewer school meals mean lower school budgets and therefore less resources for all children? Not ok.

psammyad Thu 19-Apr-12 22:33:54

It's all a bit hmm really.

In happier news: the Children's Society also claims that 91% of people believe that free school meals should be available to all children in poverty, including those in working families. (based on a poll of 1000 people in Feb 2012 - guess we're lucky they didn't poll too many mumsnetters then, there's some right frothers on here who wouldn't agree with that grin ).

porcamiseria Thu 19-Apr-12 22:41:51

what stealthpolar said

whatever social issues we have, its not fair in any way shape or form

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Thu 19-Apr-12 22:46:41

Yes--feel the need to quote again "StealthPolarBear Thu 19-Apr-12 20:26:13
I don't care about the parents of these children, much. I don't care if they are lazy, feckless, poor planners, I don't care if they're drug dealers. I don't want to be part of a society that punishes their children for this. They will already be subject to massive educational and health inequality, let's withold food from them as well"

I used to work in school in an area that was very deprived, most children got no breakfast and some no tea either- FSM was the only meal of the day. The Parents loved their children but were unable to care for them in the way we care for our children. The staff got together and all of us put £5 a month into a kitty to buy bread and squash to give the children free for breakfast, Behaviour improved, results improved, attendance improved, the children's health improved. Some of these children arrived at school filthy, in the same unwashed clothes for weeks at a time, KS1 staff would often change the children for PE and put a load of clothes into the school washer, they would go home in clean clothes. This is a stupid, stupid idea, it will cost the country so mush more in the long term. If the government want's to improve standards it should give every child a free lunch, and breakfast at school. And yes I would pay more tax to pay for this, effectively I already have.

does your post has just made me well up.

we live in a pretty poor area, in ds' class only 4 familys have a worker, but its not that bad, ok so maybe a few walk through the gate eating skittles hmm but most are clean, happy and fed in some shape or form.

We are currently in reciept of fsm as dp has been signed off work pending an operation, (he's self employed so no ssp) and the fsm make a huge difference to our weekly budget (we were also asked to claim by the school as it adds to their budget) and also since ds started having them he's doing better, has more energy and isnt 'starving' the minute he leaves school (he did have a good lunch from home, sandwich, salad, fruit, yogurt and a treat) but something about the hot meal makes a difference to him.

I'm no longer suprised by the latest cuts, its a sad scary state of affairs.

porcamiseria Thu 19-Apr-12 23:08:39

exactly doesitcome

merrymouse Thu 19-Apr-12 23:12:39

But presumably teachers will still be responsible for the PSHE education of any malnourished children in their classroom, and will probably have a whole raft of healthy eating tips to fight the obesity epidemic. Just not actual food.

JuneBear Thu 19-Apr-12 23:23:12

It doesn't matter if you're poor or fucking lazy, punishing kids is not the way to deal with it. Will Taking away fsm makes my dss's shit mother feed him? No. She's on 3x our income (all from benefits) but doesn't buy him food/clothes/etc. Will giving him fsm give us peace of mind, and the relief so I can eat three times a week without him going without? Yes. Is she a fat theiving cow who needs tackling? Absolutely, but my dss being hungry won't do that. Myself and DP only eat on the days we work,to get us through the day, n the thought of dss being as hungry as I am now makes me want to punch something.
He also does breakfast club. I pay for that. If they stopped fsm, I couldnt afford it, but would have to walk the 6 miles a day to bring him packed lunch (as I've done before). Fsm gives parents peace of mind and stops kids getting ill. End of.

stella1w Thu 19-Apr-12 23:28:55

a packed lunch might be healthier, but it's not hot and I think it's good that children sit down to a proper meal together. Some local schools encourage kids to have school meals at least in the winter months. Horrible to think poor kids will not be able to join others and have a decent hot meal.
For those of you who say, don't have kids if you can't afford to feed them should look at how little control we have over our lives when govt tax policies continually force up the basic cost of living, when transport is so expensive, basic utilities so expensive etc etc.

Poulay Fri 20-Apr-12 00:39:25

What a fucking feeding frenzy.

300 plus posts on the basis of what?

Something made up by the Children's Society to get a cheap headline?

Where the fuck did they get this number of £7500 from?

I thought charities weren't supposed to be political.

Seems that it's ok to stir up hundreds of 'fucking bastard Tory' posts, on the basis of .... absolutely nothing.

I am fed up with all the lies being put out by vested interests about government policy.

Here's what I could find, rather than shit-stirring lies:
www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/ssac-rev-of-pass-bens.pdf

'The provision of free school meals to all recipients of Universal Credit
would almost treble the numbers currently eligible. Although the
Government is sympathetic to the arguments for extending eligibility to
free school meals, this is simply unaffordable in the current economic
climate. In England, the Department for Education is, therefore, likely to
propose defining eligibility in relation to a fixed income threshold
assessed within Universal Credit and will be consulting on new
eligibility criteria later this year. The focus of the consultation will be on
setting criteria which can be put in place for the change to Universal
Credit from October 2013. '

This is current eligibility:

Registered pupils whose parents/guardians
are in receipt of:
&#61623; Income Support
&#61623; Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
&#61623; Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
&#61623; Child Tax Credit (providing they are not entitled to receive Working Tax Credit and have an annual income (as assessed by HMRC) that does not
exceed £16,190)
&#61623; Support under part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
&#61623; the Guarantee element of State Pension Credit

It's apparent that there will be changes to eligiblity, but the numbers eligible will remain the same. The intent is to make it fairer.

Here's a more balanced appraisal: www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17770152

carernotasaint Fri 20-Apr-12 00:53:20

"I thought charities werent suppossed to be political"

They dont seem to have a fucking problem with being political when it comes to participating in workfare!

tadjennyp Fri 20-Apr-12 01:11:31

There are some harsh people on here. Where I live in Oregon, you have to earn less than $29000 (just under 20000 quid) if you are a family of four to qualify for free school meals. Our local school district also provides a free lunch throughout the summer at some of the various parks. Kids get a main course, piece of fruit, milk or juice and carrots or something like that, for free. Paid for out of our property taxes. The school district does cut days out of the year because they can't afford them, but they don't let the kids go hungry.

There are plenty of people here who would say you shouldn't have children if you can't afford to give birth to them. The hospital charged over $10000 last year for a normal birth without pain relief. An epidural would have cost me another $8000. It would be interesting to find out how many of those people saying 'you should feed your own kids' would be able to pay out that kind of money to give birth in the first place.

Perhaps, like they do here, they should get the likes of Goldman Sachs and Vodafone to sponsor free school meals? Might go some way to repair their image.

SerialKipper Fri 20-Apr-12 01:44:25

Actually charities are allowed to "undertake political activity in support of their charitable aims".

The change in the law about this was precisely because charities were perpetually picking up the pieces without being able to tackle the source of the problem. Eg they could pay for prosthetics for landmine victims, but not campaign for the international banning of landmines.

merrymouse Fri 20-Apr-12 06:25:56

I read that article a little differently, Poulay.

"The coalition government's answer back in summer 2010 was what it described as "a simpler and fairer system that bases entitlement on an income or earnings threshold". But it quickly transpired that manufacturing simplicity and fairness was easier said than done."

I read this as saying the Conservatives have had 2 years to think up a better solution (as per their manifesto) and, according to that Department of Education system post here, still don't really know what they are doing. No wonder the Children's Society is getting fed up with them.

very interesting point that people earning 41k are outraged at losing their child benefit which goes into the pot for general expenses in this every penny counts scenario but people who earn 8k and losing their child's entitlement to a hot meal are unreasonable and feckless.

i don't agree with cuts to child benefit because they disproportionately effect one income households and particularly single parents with huge childcare bills however, logically speaking, if every penny counts so we all must suffer wouldn't it be more logical and fair to take child benefit away from households who earn over 40k between them (so lots of household in which two adults are capable of working and do) than to take meals from the children of households who earn £7501?

i wouldn't like to see either of these things happen but surely if we are to really believe this money is so desperately needed it can't be avoided it would be logical to take it from the households better able to afford it?

so why not? because those at the bottom have less of a voice, because there is public support for punishing those who can be slandered as feckless and irresponsible and because this bloody government really thinks they've turned the tide so far into selfish, vindictiveness towards the poor that they'll get away with it and maybe even get a round of applause from their more established voters.

when poor people can no longer even be allowed to have children what stake do you think they will have left in society? because poor people won't disappear no matter how much you punish them. it is a fact that you'll never see a 100% employed society. you'll never see 100% of people capable of supporting themselves. yes there is illness and disability (and we're even trying to deny this to some extent now) but there is also the sad fact that society advances and hurtles along and not everyone keeps up.

there are some who aren't able to keep up now who would have been ok thirty years ago when manual labour jobs with little requirement for literacy or communication skills were prolific for example. a lot of people have gotten left behind in the speed of change. our only way of remedying that and trying to avoid an absolute break down between those who can and those who can't is to educate their children, feed them if needed so we can educate them, support them, make sure they have good services and are given extra help in school where needed to close that gap a bit. saying oh why should we support people's kids or feed them or give them extra help just guarantees another generation coming through with the same obstacles to work and lack of stake in society.

it is all so short sighted.

there were tons of kids when i was teaching who it was very clear were going to really struggle in the world of work. either because of their literacy and numeracy skills, their communication and social skills or their lack of natural ability to learn and pick up systems quickly and ably. they were going out into a job market where it was all about literacy and communication, confidence and ability to pick up systems be they IT, phones and databases, etc in this town.

there is very little manual labour work here, very little in the way of retail jobs as everything has been closing down and moving out of town for years here and routes like hairdressing have turned into college courses that are beyond the scope of some. there is very little work for people who have low literacy skills, are not confident communicators who can deal with people of all walks of life, who don't have good IT skills or a good head for numbers and accuracy.

there are a lot more reasons for the 'can't' group than just ill health. simply squeezing benefits won't change these factors. better education, more support and help in school for those who are failing, better post 16 training schemes etc may make a difference. a more diverse labour market would be fab but i can't see it any time soon.

realise no one is probably reading this but there are people out there being told to 'get a job' who've never even had a computer at home, who don't have basic literacy skills and who are totally out of their depth in dealing with customers on telephones. the basic jobs used to be manual and about the ability to turn up and work hard for long shifts. the basic jobs now require computer and communication skills, the ability to deal calmly and articulately with customers on the telephone etc. things have changed and we haven't kept up with giving people the skills they need to access jobs. and if people are unable to access society then what do you think happens to them?

thinking about it taking away emt is going to make this situation even worse as they won't be able to do anything post16.

noblegiraffe Fri 20-Apr-12 07:50:02

They're taking away EMA but raising the school leaving age to 18.

I saw this morning that they are closing the Remploy factories which are sheltered employment for disabled people, in favour of getting them into mainstream employment. I thought that there were very few vacancies out there so this seems like just taking away their job.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 20-Apr-12 07:51:39

Just thinking this morning that it could be a significant disincentive to returning to work for many single parents (usually mothers) too. Doing a low paid job whilst raising young children is challenging enough already. Take away the very helpful benefit of free school meals for the children in those households and some on that border-line may find that the challenges of working are not worth the benefits as they seek to do what's best mainly for their children, but also for themselves (because that's human nature and we all do this all the time - it's been an important survival strategy for humans throughout our history and evolution - opportunists like bears - it's why most of us are omnivores too smile)

merrymouse Fri 20-Apr-12 07:56:33

"the basic jobs used to be manual and about the ability to turn up and work hard for long shifts."

And this change has happened since many of us left primary school. Suddenly, in a generation, it is not possible to put food on the table purely through hard physical labour.

It would be a cheap shot to say that this change started with Thatcher, as clearly other things have influenced the decline of heavy industry/manufacturing in this country. However, the philosophical idea that the only thing standing between any individual and a white collar job is gumption does seem to be Conservative. I think that is why they are struggling so much with the nuts and bolts of the welfare system.

On the other hand, we don't appear to have a Labour party at the moment.

Meglet England Fri 20-Apr-12 08:02:59

Having read a bit more of the thread I now want to see FSM for every child to level the playing field.

I'm a bit of a feeder so my DC's never go without a decent breakfast but there are the odd few I see who possibly do. A good breakfast and meal inside every child would probably do the world of good for behaviour, concentration and energy levels.

samandi Fri 20-Apr-12 08:17:48

I used to work in school in an area that was very deprived, most children got no breakfast and some no tea either- FSM was the only meal of the day. The Parents loved their children but were unable to care for them in the way we care for our children. The staff got together and all of us put £5 a month into a kitty to buy bread and squash to give the children free for breakfast, Behaviour improved, results improved, attendance improved, the children's health improved. Some of these children arrived at school filthy, in the same unwashed clothes for weeks at a time, KS1 staff would often change the children for PE and put a load of clothes into the school washer, they would go home in clean clothes.

I'm not sure that someone who is unable to feed and wash their own child should be looking after them in the first place. What do you mean by "love"? If I love someone I'm not going to stand by and watch as they go hungry when it is within my means to go out and buy a loaf of bread and drink each week for breakfast. Are families really so poor they can't afford that? Ditto washing powder.

i was also thinking about how up in arms people get about the idea of homes with low income being provided with a reconditioned laptop that would have been thrown away. again mad short term thinking and lack of awareness of the job market out there and how many kids are not getting basic IT skills and computer confidence in a world where realistically there's nothing you can do without that and a whole load of society/life goes on online.

samandi what would you do then - put them all in care?

samandi Fri 20-Apr-12 08:25:18

*Our only choice is to pay for a meal over which we have no control or to send them with an assortment of cold food.

I can feed all of the 3 dcs I have at home for the price of one school meal.*

So do that. What is with cold food? confused

OhDoAdmitMrsDeVere Fri 20-Apr-12 08:45:03

Nothing is wrong with cold food but we are discussing children for whom the only hot meal of the day is a FSM

confused

porcamiseria Fri 20-Apr-12 08:52:14

its starting to look like we want to stop poor people having children

psammyad Fri 20-Apr-12 08:53:04

swallowedAfly, I'm reading, you make a great deal of sense smile

Poulay - thanks for posting that link, it's from March 2012 so much more up to date than the report I'd found.

I'm still a bit hmm about where this figure of £7500 was plucked from, though it must be said that the Children's Society used it as an example of a threshold & it's really the newspaper articles & initial BBC report that have reported it as (possibly scaremongering) fact.

But I'm also very hmm that in 2012, 2 years after the government proposed Universal Credit, they still have no actual figures on how they plan to implement it or what thresholds they plan to use.

It looks to me like they've found out it won't be as easy as they said to simplify things, and they're worried that their clever new system may end up being as complicated and costing more than the old one and are looking to cut costs.

I think they bunged some figures in, realised that too many extra children would be entitled to FSM (no surprise if there's already 700,000 in low-waged households who aren't currently getting them) & have started revising their income thresholds rapidly down.

Which will affect a lot of low-waged workers who currently get tax-credit top-ups, not just people who already get FSM and might lose them.

It seems clear that whatever system we end up with, there will inevitably be thresholds at which work (or extra hours) doesn't pay until someone gets either a pay rise or a pay cut - some people will factor that in for the sake of holding on to their career or self esteem, but it's hardly a surprise that someone in a soul-destroying job that you really would only do for the money, would choose to drop a few hours a week to slip under a benefit threshold. Or even make life decisions like having a child (or not) based on how that threshold may affect them.

If you are in a higher income bracket, maximising your income by whatever leagal means possible is be seen as prudent by many people. Things like putting money in an ISA at the right time of year to minimise the tax paid on savings - most Money sections in newspapers have articles on this kind of thing every week.

Whereas if you are on the breadline, making life decisions to legally maximise your income (by a few £s a week) is seen as feckless and sponging...
Why is there this idea that poor people are supposed to be so much more moral in their decision-making than rich people? If anything, the incentives to make decisions based on the net gain or loss to society probably fade into the background a bit, when the extra few £ you might gain is literally the difference between food on the table or hungry children.

merrymouse Fri 20-Apr-12 09:00:33

What is with cold food?

Cheap, easy cold food tends to be some bread and cheese and maybe a slice of processed meat. (well, obviously cheap cold food is a mars bar and a bag of crisps, but anyway...) 'Hot food' implies a mixture of ingredients including meat and vegetables.

Obviously there are a million interesting things you can do with a wrap, but most of the more grown up ways of bringing food from home to work (e.g. soup, last night's left overs) rely on there being a microwave on the premises to make it taste nice.

Having said that, many schools don't provide cooked meals and provide a packed lunch for children on fsm. When it comes down to it, its about food.

3littlerabbits Fri 20-Apr-12 09:09:47

Yanbu. Tragic. Govt have enough money to allow a tax reduction to those on higher tax rate though, of course. Yes, thats a reduction in tax for those who earn over £150000, as obviosly they need that extra spending money. But the country is so skint that the govt need to cut the amount of free school meals for children on/below poverty line as we are all in this together? For FUCKS SAKE.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 20-Apr-12 09:31:09

If they do go ahead with this it's really not going to sound good when everyone beyond Mumsnet starts talking - quite rightly - like 3littlerabbits

It was bad enough for Thatcher-the-milk-snatcher back in the day, and that was "only" a bottle of milk at break time. Take away children's lunches from some of our poorer children and don't expect to get re-elected/ fasten your seat-belts for a very bumpy ride.

and not just because of bad parenting can't be bothered but for some because they're living with a disabled parent who can't cook a hot meal or really struggles to do so on a regular basis.

ooh mad cross post - that was following on from someone saying that it was the only hot meal some children got.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 20-Apr-12 10:06:45

I'd like to pick up on the "bad parenting can't be bothered" and "lazy, feckless parents" issues.

Just feel we should have compassion not only for those that are poor, but also for all those that are struggling for whatever reason.
I feel almost everyone wants to do their best for their children, but people have a whole raft of challenges and issues to contend with that sometimes makes this difficult.
Poverty isn't the only challenge people face. The reasons people are living in poverty bring many other challenges of their own too - things like mental health, illness and disability - all sorts of challenges really which make raising children more of a challenge as well as making it more difficult to earn a good, living wage.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 20-Apr-12 10:10:24

have no read the whole thread - but agree about the Olympics - anyone who cares about poverty should be blardy disgusted at that mahoosive waste of taxpayers money that could have paid for - how many - school meals...?
School dinners should be free to all - anything other tinkering is a waste of admin money - and could be paid for by stopping all child benefit - that way moeny if defintiely spent on children's food which shoudl be the priority anyway.

merrymouse Fri 20-Apr-12 10:16:35

I think its worth stating again that the government haven't proposed a figure of £7500.

What they have done is cut the benefits that automatically give you a right to school food (because having too many benefits is too complicated), but now realise that they still have to provide free school meals, and will therefore have to individually assess who is entitled to free school meals, which is much simpler, only apparently it isn't because after 2 years they still can't decide how to do it.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 20-Apr-12 10:21:32

Actually that's a great idea MrsGuy - You could reduce child benefit a little but give every child a free school meal. Yes, think that's definitely what I'd do.

Would help so much with giving children a sound idea of what makes up a balanced nutritious meal which they would take with them into adult life as well as giving them the nutrition at lunch time to help them make the most of their education throughout the school day.

Shame I got a new job yesterday really as I quite fancy running the country with you lot as my hard-working, genius minions !! grin

Asamumnonsense Fri 20-Apr-12 10:29:42

I think this would be totally unfair. I am a single mother and had a great job earning 40k 6 months ago. My job got made redundant and haven't claimed any benefit yet even though I have contributed to the system for 18 years. I am now struggling to pay my rent and food.. I am considering applying for free school meal for my daughter. Why I am made to feel ashamed reading some posts? I am looking for a job and it is not as easy..
asuwere;some families like mine find themselves in this situation at no fault of their own and it is very judgemental of you to think 'not being in work, should not pay'.Hope you never find yourself in my situation and lose your job unexpectedly like I did. After contributing to the system for 18 years why can't the system help me in turn until I stand on my feet again? what sort of society are we living in? Shocking!

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 20-Apr-12 10:46:31

I'm so sorry you lost your job Asamum - it is so hard being out of work and looking for one in this economic climate. You must be a very capable person though to have been on 40k so I'm sure things will look up for you soon smile
Meanwhile I'd definitely start claiming what you're entitled to including the FSMs for your daughter, which will actually benefit the school and the other children there by enabling access to extra funding, as well as benefiting your daughter.
As you say you've paid into the funds for 18 years. If you need a little help now I certainly wouldn't hesitate, especially when you're feeling you need the support.
It will help you get back on your feet all the sooner too.
And please take no notice of any idiots on here with discouraging posts to others.
Sadly some people need to make themselves feel better by putting other people down ( is how I see it)

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Fri 20-Apr-12 11:24:26

Asamumnonsense - you should see what you can get. DH was like that and it took a month and half to get him to claim and then mainly because tax credit operator insisted he should.

We were surprised at amount of help - DC weren't at school then but council tax was dropped for period he was out of work, 100 a month, and he got some unemployment money. It all helped eek our savings out for longer. We also got some grant as I was about to give birth to our third and last DC.

He only out of work three months - and only claimed for half that but it helped enormously. It took pressure of us a little as we knew we'd last longer and wasn't such a hole to get out of when he was back in work.

Bloody hell, the Liberal government brought in free school meals in 1907 for a reason, are we going back to the times of Thomas Malthus? It seems scarily likely sad

samandi Fri 20-Apr-12 11:32:37

Obviously there are a million interesting things you can do with a wrap, but most of the more grown up ways of bringing food from home to work (e.g. soup, last night's left overs) rely on there being a microwave on the premises to make it taste nice.

Sorry, but I have to disagree with this :-) I always used to take in leftovers and eat them at lunch, and there were no microwave facilities at my workplace. Stir fries, curries, cold meat and fish cooked the night before, greens, potatoes etc. etc. There's actually quite little that needs to be heated up. Soup ... now there I agree.

samandi Fri 20-Apr-12 11:39:08

Actually that's a great idea MrsGuy - You could reduce child benefit a little but give every child a free school meal. Yes, think that's definitely what I'd do.

Yes, that sounds like a good idea. There should be nutritious food available at schools for those that want it and teaching kids about food is a good idea as well.

I just think it's utterly crap that some parents care so little for their kids they can't give them decent (or even a quarter decent) meals at home. Do these parents not take their children to the doctors when they are ill, or give them medicine when they are sick either?

noblegiraffe Fri 20-Apr-12 11:43:38

"I always used to take in leftovers and eat them at lunch, and there were no microwave facilities at my workplace."

Was there a fridge? I don't think it would be a good idea for a kid to be carrying a chicken curry around for hours till lunch.

samandi Fri 20-Apr-12 11:43:56

samandi what would you do then - put them all in care?

If the care system was half decent, then yes. A parent who can't be bothered to wash their own child's clothes or feed them is probably not going to be bothered about taking them to the doctor or dentist, or providing any other kind of basic care either. It's wilful neglect.

Migsy1 Fri 20-Apr-12 12:02:53

Some people on this thread have little experience of the society we live in and therefore lack any understanding of poverty. They are lucky to be so ignorant. Sadly, this government seems to be full of people like that.

noblegiraffe Fri 20-Apr-12 12:03:45

What about the parents who don't eat so that their children can have food? Is that a reasonable solution?

AKMD Fri 20-Apr-12 12:08:34

Oh come on people, we are a rich country, we are NOT in such dire straights that we cannot afford to provide a hot meal at lunchtime for children from the poorest families. Something that will help them to concentrate at school, reduce disruption and improve outcomes. We shouldn't even be having this debate.

Exactly. Reading this thread is like reading an article on a school in the Third World. "For most children, this is the only meal they get all day." "Parents send their children to school because they know they'll get a free meal." See this article from the UN. It makes me sick that people on here are actually arguing that in the UK we should not be feeding our poorest children, who are poor through no fault of their own.

Anyway... reading the actual article, this isn't even on the cards and i don't see this ever happening. Say what you like about the government, no government can afford headlines about starving children on their watch.

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Fri 20-Apr-12 12:10:49

Unfortunately samandi the current state system is a very poor parent offering poor outcomes to the children it already ends up looking after and it also costs a lot to look after DC like this rather than support some families.

Also in a lot of cases you can find the parents are giving what food there is to the DC ,and its still not enough, and they are going without. ( Was shocked to meet some in RL - we live near a very deprived area)

Unfortunately some parents live chaotic disorganized lives for variety of reasons including sporadic ill health or general inability to cope with everyday life. There are also shockingly high numbers of children acting as their parents carers in this country.

It hard to see how people can argued that theses DC lives should be made any harder or their access to food restrict - though many on here seem quite happy to do that.

Dawndonna Fri 20-Apr-12 12:14:03

Samandi Wilfull neglect is a little harsh. Perhaps it's due to a lack of education, thinking that chips from the chippy are cheaper, or that a mars bar and a packet of crisps is nicer, so better. Perhaps the clothes aren't washed regularly because they have nowhere to wash and dry them, just a bath and no heating to dry stuff in winter. Or perhaps it's due to depression or mental illness. Don't judge too harshly sweetie, you may be there one day.

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Fri 20-Apr-12 12:14:03

AKMD - there are thread posted on this site where teachers post, including this one, where they say this is their experience.

But you are right the government isn't saying it will do this - it apparently hasn't got as far as to work out what it does want to do with all these lives even after a few years thought.

theDevilHasTheBestMNNames Fri 20-Apr-12 12:17:54

Yea - a lot of poorer people are on meter sometimes expressing a preference as they can't run up large bills. Means they pay more for energy - and they washing and drying clothes is so much harder to achieve.

The also often pay more for electrical goods like washing machines - through weekly pay schemes such as Brighthouse - as they can only afford to pay weekly and not save up. They often know pay more but it is how they can actually get the goods.

AKMD Fri 20-Apr-12 12:22:50

I know Devil and I think it's shocking that people on here are willing to take away the little that these children have. My DM works in a school and it's a regular occurence there that a child will turn up not having had any breakfast/with dirty clothes/unwashed. People don't seem to understand that this isn't a handful of children who would just have to have pasta instead but hundreds, if not thousands, of children who would go hungry every single day because their parents can't/won't feed them.

JuliaScurr Fri 20-Apr-12 12:36:09

dd gets fsm because I am a scrounging malingerer disabled, therefore on incapacity benefit fraudulent stolen money, not because we can't be arsed to feed her

is there a little island somewhere where those of us who still have social consciences and basic compassion and want to live like civilised human being rather than selfish fuckers can go and live?

i don't want to share a society with the kind of selfish, self righteous ignorant people who are running this country and those that are rubbing their hands in glee at it all.

i really, really don't want to live in a country where women who don't even work themselves but have husbands who earn a fortune sneer and look down their noses at others who didn't marry a big pay pack.

imagine sneering at people because they don't earn as much money as your husband? if mr pay pack walks off tomorrow you might be glad of a society that supports people in hard times.

ArtVandelay Fri 20-Apr-12 12:47:09

YANBU - Disgusting. I despair sad

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 20-Apr-12 12:51:06

I'd think that almost any parent who "can't be arsed" to feed their own child would have depression or other mental illness or an addiction or other serious challenges/ problems.

It's ridiculous to think there are all these people who just can't be bothered, "willful neglect" etc.

Agree with DawnDonna - don't judge too harshly, not til you've walked a mile in their moccasens anyway (as old native American saying put it)

JuliaScurr Fri 20-Apr-12 12:53:18

Lucky they can afford moccassins <goes to read Mein Kampf Daily Mail>

SarahJessicaFarter Fri 20-Apr-12 12:53:31

Yanbu. It's an horrendous figure to cut off eligibility. Literally taking food out of children's mouths. My husband, as a child, under the previous Tory govt, relied on his free school dinner as his main meal of the day. This is not because of our current govt. it's because of our previous one sad. But children shoukdn't be the ones who pay. Teachers should be striking over this! Not bloody pensions ffs.

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 20-Apr-12 12:56:11

I did wonder about the "moccassins" and thought of changing in to "carpet slippers" smile

bochead Fri 20-Apr-12 12:57:54

If we can afford to be poncing about on the world stage implementing "regime change" at £1m per missile we can afford to ensure our poorest chidren eat.

Nero could have told you that to avoid civil unrest if you stage circuses such as the Olympics and Jubilee Celebrations then you also need to provide the "bread" - e.g free school lunches for those children at the sharpest end of the financial crisis.

I agree we do need to cut the welfare bill - we can start by demanding the banks start paying back the tax payer funded bail outs they received. The banks should take the brunt of the fallout from the crisis they themselves created. No bonuses at all should be payable to bankers (who are on a living wage already - the bonus payments just pay for the porsche etc) unless and until they have repaid society the money they borrowed from us all.

To expect children as young as four to go without something so basic as food so as not to inconvenience the opulent livestyles of the top 20% is so unjust that it makes me very uncomfortable.

The sight of young children begging for food, or fainting in class from hunger will make a lot of normally passive peaceable people very, very angry. Last summer demonstrated how little control the authorities actually have during civil unrest.

A society as unbalanced as this one is in danger of becoming cannot be safe, secure, or contented - things all sections from the richest to the poorest desire. Neither does it demonstrate to our young the qualities of fairness, compassion and honesty we would like our children to develop as they grow into adults themselves.

thinking about it this is the kind of thing that led to busy guillotines in france hmm

when is bastille day? would be a good date for a protest.

we could have mock guillotines and knock up dummy bank managers and politicians to behead. lewes fire festival type style.

(can't find who they burnt at lewes last year by googling - be curious to know if anyone was there)

Voidka Fri 20-Apr-12 13:43:19

14th July is Bastille Day.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Fri 20-Apr-12 13:47:21

If children are coming to school with no food or unwashed clothers for several weeks then the answer is NOT to just blindly feed 'em, wash their clothes! Look at the reason - if it metal illness/depression then it needs to be treated, pretty negligen tof those who notive the unwashed clithes, assume mental illness, but ignre it to send the poor kid back to that householda day adter day. If it is 'poor education' c'mon - there has been free education in this country for the lifetimes of all parents of school kids - lame excuse.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 20-Apr-12 13:50:12

I doubt they are 'blindly feeding them and washing their clothes', they're just doing that as well, because they're nice.

You don't look at a hungry dirty child and say 'well now, I could give you some toast and a clean jumper, but that wouldn't really solve the problem of your useless mother, now would it?'. You feed them, and wash their clothes. And you do whatever else you can as well insofar as it is in your power as a teacher, I should think.

I agree with the concept of FSM for those in need. Most people do. I think there is a debate about who should be eligible and I certainly wouldn't want to see eligibility reduced.

What I am puzzled about is where the £7500 figure has come from? It has only been mentioned by the Children's Society.

Please could someone post a link to where this figure has been officially stated to be the cut off or the proposal where it shows that it is one of the cut off options under consideration.

p.s. For those who mentioned Thatcher - Milk Snatcher its not strictly correct as she was Education Sec in 1970 and we still had free school milk when I started school in 1974 - she only withdrew it from secondary schools (and btw being forced to drink unrefrigerated milk at morning break put me and quite a few others I know off milk for a very long time - I still don't drink milk more than 35 years later).
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/uk/2000/uk_confidential/1095121.stm

JugglingWithTangentialOranges Fri 20-Apr-12 14:27:55

Have just googled to confirm that Bastille Day is "Let them eat cake" day too so I can see that would be perfect for a protest on this issue saf

Waifs and strays/ hungry children - tick
Guillotines with dummy politicians and bank managers - tick
Cake - tick

We really do need a cake emoticon now MNHQ !

Dawndonna Fri 20-Apr-12 14:44:16

<nips back in for cake>
grin

bochead Fri 20-Apr-12 15:14:56

The Olympics opening ceremony would be worth interrupting with a protest wink
Thousands of Mothers lining the route with cardboard guillotines and cake slices on international telly might help make the point.

As a nation if these cuts go ahead we should hang our heads in shame. I certainly won't be listening to any more government posturing on parenting.

JuliaScurr Fri 20-Apr-12 15:55:05

So long as those mothers aren't disabled, because public transport is not accessible and they've suspended free Blue Bage parking until October

JuliaScurr Fri 20-Apr-12 15:56:30

Why hang your head when you could hang a Condem MP?

JosephineCD Fri 20-Apr-12 16:06:23

There weren't guillotines in France because child benefit was restricted to those earning less than £7500. There was a revolution because people were starving to death.

I think Labour have a lot to answer for. They increased benefits so that more and more people came to feel they were reliant on them, knowing that as soon as the Tories took them away, people would be bleating and wanting Labour back in power. Pretty basic strategy really, but some people seemingly can't see through it.

Dawndonna Fri 20-Apr-12 17:12:09

They increased benefits because people needed to survive. They increased benefits because Thatcher had messed the economy to such an extent there were huge areas where no work was available.
Most people do not feel that they want to live a benefits lifestyle, it's a bloody myth perpetuated by tories who as usual are keen to see the rich are not penalised for anything.
When these discussions happen, inevitably people talk about benefits scroungers, people who shouldn't be breeding etc. These people are in a minority. What about Disabled people, Carers, Pensioners. They too are part of the welfare bill.

bronze Fri 20-Apr-12 17:21:13

Whether parents rely on tax credits etc or not school meals is one way of making sure that a benefit goes direct to the person who needs it, the child. I am not up for punishing children however responsible or feckless their parents.

Poulay Fri 20-Apr-12 19:00:04

This nonsense still going on I see.

And nobody found a shred of evidence for the £7,500 figure suggested?

Nope?

Dind't think so.

What I am puzzled about is where the £7500 figure has come from? It has only been mentioned by the Children's Society

As i explained in my earlier post, proposed welfare reforms are published as consultation papers, these are not always put to public scrutiny, but certain charity groups are asked for feed back and different groups will analyse them.

Under the EU rules to tackle child poverty, all welfare reforms have to consider the impact on families and can only go so far.

The Children's Society is the organasation that is scrutinising the possible problems that families will face, for later in the year when it will be debated and the fimal plans put in place.

This is just one organisation, others have given their concerns over how how Universal Credit and the limits set will negatively impact on their focus group.

The CAB was asked to give their concerns about the effect on 'passport benefits', for example.

Google '21st Century Welfare' and you will see the initial consultation on Universal Credit, then google 'responses to 21st Century Welfare'.

Now that things have moved on, different organisations are looking at actual figures, now.

Dawndonna Fri 20-Apr-12 20:13:06

Thing is Poulay even when/if evidence appears, it matters not. A discussion has been had, hardly the feeding frenzy you declared earlier. From said discussion, it has been interesting to note that the majority favour free school meals for all.
Interesting, and not a particular waste of time.

BoffinMum Fri 20-Apr-12 21:07:04

Hear, hear.

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Fri 20-Apr-12 21:30:47

feeding frenzy biscuit

CardyMow Mon 21-May-12 14:38:19

Is it only a cap on WAGES? Because I get more than that in benefits? Does that mean I won't get FSM's? I have 3 dc who get them. One of whom is on a GF diet, and if I had to pay for lunches for him, it would bankrupt me. Literally.

2 dc lunches @ £2.10 a day, 1 dc lunch @ £2.30 a day (which I am already having to top up by £1 a day to ensure she gets a full MEAL). Multiplied by 5 days a week, multilpied by the 38 weeks a year they are in school for...CRAP that's £798 for the younger two, and £437 for the oldest. Well, if I include the extra £1 a day I'm giving her anyway, that would be £627 a year.

A total of £1,425 a year. And officially, I'm already below the poverty level as I have to pay for GF food for DS1 out of my benefits AND Dairy, Soya, Nut free food for DS3 AND the NHS will only prescribe 6/12 of the tins of Nutramigen he gets through in a month - leaving me to fund the extra £100+ cost of it.

I'm already leaking money like trying to bail out a sinking ship with a colander - I also have £100 a month top-up on my LHA to pay, and there ARE no cheaper properties locally that will accept LHA, this is a HA house, but with one of the 'new' not so fucking 'Affordable Rents'.

<<Panics about having to possibly find the best part of £1.5k a year from the chuffing money tree I assume the Government thinks I have growing in the postage stamp sized garden.>>

Pishspice Mon 21-May-12 14:44:29

I'm slightly lost for words! How shortsighted. I believe in FSM for ALL children so this is a terrible step. * shakes head sadly*

JosephineCD Mon 21-May-12 14:49:28

How do people cope during the summer when they have to (gasp) pay for their own children's meals?

duckdodgers Mon 21-May-12 15:44:05

How do people cope during the summer when they have to (gasp) pay for their own children's meals?

It really doesnt take a genius to see that a lot of children will be going without proper nutritious meals then does it?

JosephineCD Mon 21-May-12 15:47:34

And whose fault is that? Their parents, surely?

duckdodgers Mon 21-May-12 15:54:11

Yes of course it is Josephine! And thats the point - why should the children suffer!

SS cant whip all of them into care to make sure they are being fed, at least when school is on they will be though. And this can make a difference.

PropertyNightmare Mon 21-May-12 16:04:08

Josephine ain't getting into heaven. Let the little children starve to pay for the sins of their fathers. What a lovely lady you are hmm

JosephineCD Mon 21-May-12 16:06:11

More like the parents have to get their shit togethr and start looking after their kids. Free school meals is yet another thing that was once a nice bonus but is now just something that some people expect to be done for them. Too many people expect the government to do the parenting for them.

PropertyNightmare Mon 21-May-12 16:20:14

Whatever the rights or the wrongs or the feckless parenting that may or may not have occurred the answer can't be to take food from the mouths of vunerable children. These are kids who by misfortune of birth are unequal. They have no way of providing or fending for themselves. Yes, it is all very well to hope that maybe their parents will step up and provide. For a great many though their mums /dads can't or won't. If you are unable to appreciate that little children going hungry is a very likely outcome then you are very shortsighted. Social Services 'At Risk' registers already evidence parents failing to 'get their shit together'.

duckdodgers Mon 21-May-12 16:49:55

More like the parents have to get their shit togethr and start looking after their kids

Well wouldnt that be all lovely and wonderful in an ideal world eh? But we dont live in this Utopia and we have parents who will never get it together or be able to - so should children starve then? A simple yes or no will suffice.

If you want to be selfish and mean, mentioning no names... it is still better for poor children to have school meals free even if you are a Tory parent whose child eats free-range Waitrose for every meal. Your children will be in school with well-fed poor children. Children getting a decent diet tend to do better at school academically and socially. So, Tarquin and Jocasta won't have to deal with hungry children who will disrupt the class.

CardyMow Mon 21-May-12 17:58:24

How do I pay for food in the school holidays? By not having to pay the bus fares to GET them to school, that extra money pays for the extra food. During the school term, I can EITHER get them to school, OR feed them a decent lunch. Not both. Does that answer your question?

And as for the lack of washing thing - sometimes my dc can't have their clothes washed for a day or two, near the end of the month if I am very short on electric for the meter. I can't afford to pay the water bill if I do the amount of washing I should do, either. If you are on benefits and get into debt, the gas and electric companies WILL fit a key meter AND set a debt in it at a minimum of £6 a week - so you have to put £6 on there BEFORE you pay for any gas or electric.

Some of us people that 'shouldn't have children they can't look after' are in this position due to situations outside our control - in my case it's a combination of being diagnosed with a disability myself, losing a well-paid CAREER through that disability, having TWO dc with disabilities AND a relationship breakdown.

HTH.

OhNoMyFanjo Mon 21-May-12 18:06:13

All these reasons are why I think all children should get fed for free at school.

diabolo Mon 21-May-12 18:19:55