Advanced search

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.


Himalaya Mon 21-May-12 21:18:11

and the thing is it is not like this will save them 2.20 pet child/day.

Those kids will stop getting school dinners and instead get a packet of crisps or whatever. Meanwhile the school still needs to pay the fixed costs of the kitchen, dinner ladies etc...

( apologies if someone has already pointed this out, haven't read all pages)

PropertyNightmare Mon 21-May-12 21:03:12

That is interesting, Diabolo. I am no tory fan at all but I suspect that very few tory voters would support directly removing food from the mouths of disadvantaged children. Like you, I expect the overwhelming majority would say 'not in my name'.

diabolo Mon 21-May-12 18:48:15

The strange thing is, I am a Tory - I agree in principle with some of the policies to lower spending on welfare, and if these policies only affected adults who don't want to work, or are lying about being ill, then I would sleep much easier.

Some of the lives the kids at my school lead are enough to make you weep, unfortunately, taking away money from their parents is only going to adversely affect the children. The worst parents will still spend what little they have on themselves, not their (not so D)C's.

I wish there was a way to make it otherwise. None of these children are deemed neglected enough to be taken into care, (and that is not exactly a better option either). Many are known to SS and their parents have been sent on all the parenting classes imaginable. It makes little difference.

PropertyNightmare Mon 21-May-12 18:39:58

Exactly, Diabolo.
Taking away FSM is a straightforward attack on an extremely vulnerable and utterly helpless group. The thought of an infant having a bag of crisps for tea is pretty upsetting. Couple that with the image of said child also having very little (or inadequate) for breakfast and lunch and it's enough to make you weep. Surely no-one can think it is acceptable for children in the UK to suffer in this way?

diabolo Mon 21-May-12 18:19:55

Josephine - you seem very naive.

Many children on FSM at my (40%+ on FSM) school, don't get fed properly in the holidays, the breakfast club and free school dinners are the only decent meals they get all week. Evening meal is a bad of crisps in some cases.

Taking away FSM is only ever going to affect the children. Their parents (and they are not all feckless fwiw), will carry on regardless.

OhNoMyFanjo Mon 21-May-12 18:06:13

All these reasons are why I think all children should get fed for free at school.

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.


MrsTerryPratchett Mon 21-May-12 17:07:47

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.

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.

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'.

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 16:04:08

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

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.

JosephineCD Mon 21-May-12 15:47:34

And whose fault is that? Their parents, surely?

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 14:49:28

How do people cope during the summer when they have to (gasp) pay for their own children's meals?

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*

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.>>

FeeltheBeeranddoitanyway Fri 20-Apr-12 21:30:47

feeding frenzy biscuit

BoffinMum Fri 20-Apr-12 21:07:04

Hear, hear.

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.

Birdsgottafly Fri 20-Apr-12 19:28:18

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.

Birdsgottafly Fri 20-Apr-12 19:24:45

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.

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?


Dind't think so.

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now