Call on Damian Collins MP to vote to keep Free School Meals for working families

The Government is attempting to push through changes to free school meals provisions which would mean that that families earning over £7400 net per year would lose access to them.

Labour have forced a vote on the issue and on Tuesday, all MPs — including our MP Damian Collins — will be expected to vote.

Laura Davison, Folkestone and Hythe Labour Party candidate in the 2017 General Election, has written to Damian Collins asking him to support the families in Folkestone and Hythe Constituency by voting against his party. She says:

“According to the Children’s Society free school meals are worth around £400 a year per child, which can make a huge difference to struggling families.

“These plans show your Tory government’s total failure to recognise and care about families under pressure and how you are choosing deliberately to bring in policies that make the situation worse. This is totally wrong.”

According to the Children’s Society, up to 27,800 children in poverty in Kent stand to lose out on this important resource as a result of the change.

Please take a moment to write to Damian Collins MP and ask him to vote against cutting Free School Meals on Tuesday.

Laura’s letter reads:

Dear Damian,

I am writing to you about your government’s plans to take free school meals and childcare from hundreds of thousands of working families. It is scandalous that households with an income above just £7,400 will lose access to free schools meals as part of the roll out of Universal Credit, and that families with an income above the same level will lose access to free childcare for their two year olds. According to the Children’s Society, free school meals are worth around £400 a year per child, which can make a huge difference to struggling families.

These plans show your Tory government’s total failure to recognise and care about families under pressure and how you are choosing deliberately to bring in policies that make the situation worse.

This is totally wrong.

It is also unacceptable that in order to cling on to power Theresa May has agreed that children in Northern Ireland will be protected but those in England will not be. No child should have to suffer as a result of these changes.

If you cut free school meals, you are also making a cut to schools’ budgets. If you are on free school meals (FSM), you are a ‘Pupil Premium’ child, for whom the school gets additional funding. Therefore, by cutting FSM the Tories are also making further cuts to school budgets. Schools’ budgets are already stretched and this will take money away from schools that teach disadvantaged pupils.

Disgracefully the government was trying to push these changes through without a vote but now, thanks to the brilliant work of Labour’s shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, there will be a vote in Parliament.

As our MP I am urging you to vote against them. Let’s have a different approach which supports children and families, not damages them; Labour’s fully costed 2017 election manifesto pledged to give all primary school children a free school meal.

If you choose to vote for these shocking proposals how will you explain or justify this to the families in Folkestone and Hythe who will be affected, and who you are supposed to represent?

I look forward to your reply,

Yours sincerely,

Laura Davison

 

Petition to sign here.

Further reading here and here.

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