James Heappey MP ‘disappointed’ as Labour and Lib Dems vote against increasing eligibility for free school meals

Wells MP James Heappey has spoken of his disappointment at opposition parties voting against increasing the eligibility of free school meals.

Last week, the Government introduced plans to increase the number of children eligible for free school meals, as a result of the newly means-tested benefit system of universal credit.

Currently, all families receiving universal credit are entitled to free school meals – and this will not change as a result of last week’s vote, despite some reports.

Children in reception, year 1 and year 2 will also continue to receive free school meals. Once the means test for future families who will receive universal credit is introduced, the Department for Education has estimated more than 50,000 additional children will be eligible for a free school meal.

Mr Heappey said: “I am disappointed Labour and the Lib Dems have voted against increasing eligibility for free school meals.

“Worse still, they have worried thousands of hard-pressed local families by wilfully distorting the impact of last week’s vote.

“But in political spats like this, the public don’t want to hear from politicians, they want to hear the truth from an independent third party Channel 4’s Fact Check is an excellent impartial analysis of what last week’s vote really means.”