No free school meals during holidays: London too harsh?

Children from low-income families will no longer receive free school meals during the half-term and Christmas holidays, the British government has decided. Manchester United player Marcus Rashford, who comes from a poor background, is fighting the decision. His campaign has been taken up by supermarkets, restaurants, NGOs, companies and local authorities.

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The Times (GB) /

Government mocking the neediest

The government in London must back down, The Times demands:

“Downing Street ... can argue convincingly that providing food for poorer families is a slippery slope that could be used, after the pandemic, to insist that this should be a permanent state responsibility. It should never be more than an exception. But for now there is telling irony in using taxpayers' money in the government's 'Eat Out to Help Out' scheme, largely benefiting the middle classes, while refusing state provision for food for those who probably need it most. There will, of course, have to be a U-turn.”

The Spectator (GB) /

Help yes, but not with soup

Welfare should be provided in the form of money, not benefits in kind, The Spectator argues:

“In other words, don't dole out soup and blankets to the poor - pay them an allowance which they then choose how to spend. It is possible to construct an objection to this approach: how can you be sure when you pay out Universal Credit, that it is going to go towards children's lunches rather than to feed a parent's drug habit? But there is also a strong case for it: make people too dependent for too long on benefits in kind and they will lose, or fail to develop, financial independence.”