The Children’s Society estimates welfare reforms tied to universal credit would see up to one million children denied eligibility for free lunches, if the government’s planned changes are rolled out.
Rt Rev Christopher Foster said: ‘For working families just below the current threshold, this proposal would very clearly not make extra work pay. I ask the government to think again and I do so from the bottom of my heart.’
Rev Foster spoke in the House of Lords, backing a motion which called for a delay in implementing changes to the policy, until a full impact assessment had been carried out. The motion was carried by 167 votes to 160.
All families on universal credit can claim free school meals. But from April 1, children in Year 3 and above on universal credit in England will not be eligible if their parents earn more than £7,400.