Free School Meals: Working Tax Credit

Department for Education written question – answered on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent estimate he has made of the potential additional cost to the public purse of extending free school meals to households in receipt of working tax credit who meet the income threshold currently used to determine eligibility for households not in receipt of working tax credit.

Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what recent assessment he has made of the potential merits of extending free school meal eligibility to children in households in receipt of working tax credit.

Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children are ineligible for free school meals as a result of their household, meeting the income threshold but is in receipt of working tax credit.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We do not routinely collect or publish data on families in receipt of working tax credit with earnings below the threshold for free school meals eligibility,

The department does not have any plans to extend free school meals entitlement to families in receipt of working tax credit and therefore have not made an assessment of the potential additional costs or benefits of extending free school meals to those households in receipt of working tax credit who meet the earned income threshold.

Working tax credit, alongside other legacy benefits are being phased out and replaced by Universal Credit. As families move from working tax credit onto Universal Credit, those with incomes below the earned income threshold of £7,400 per annum will benefit through becoming eligible to receive free school meals.

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