Free School Meals: Summer Holidays

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:25 pm on 16th June 2020.

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Photo of Gareth Johnson Gareth Johnson Conservative, Dartford 5:25 pm, 16th June 2020

We all want to do the right thing for struggling families, but we all also want to ensure that there is fairness for the taxpayer, so it is important that the right approach is adopted.

This Government have been financially very generous throughout this outbreak. We have seen the multibillion-pound furloughing scheme, which has saved the livelihoods of millions of people in this country. Assistance has been given for the self-employed, and extra money has been invested in the NHS to help cope with the battle against covid-19. Of course, free school meals have been provided throughout his time in schools, or where schools are not open in the form of vouchers. In addition, they have been provided to children over the Easter and Whitsun periods, and will now cover the summer.

Nobody can claim that this Government have not put their hand in their pocket during the outbreak to help the British people. However, it has not stopped there. Universal credit and working tax credits have seen uplifts to the tune of £6.5 billion, and 2 million food packages have been provided. The list of assistance that has been given is extremely lengthy, yet, of course, it is not our money. It is taxpayers’ money—money that will have to be paid back not just by this generation of workers, but by their children and quite possibly their grandchildren as well.