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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.


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


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.

wheredidiputit Thu 19-Apr-12 13:15:43

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.

TheRealMrsHannigan Thu 19-Apr-12 13:22:52

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.

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

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