Labour’s John Kent puts pressure on MP Jackie Doyle-Price over Free School Meals vote

John Kent 2017

TORY MP Jackie Doyle-Price urged by Labour to vote against Government’s plans to leave 2800 of Thurrock’s poorest children without a free school meal
 
JOHN Kent, Labour’s candidate in Thurrock has written to Jackie Doyle-Price urging her to put Thurrock’s poorest children before party loyalty, by voting against a Government plan to impose an income threshold on families currently receiving universal credit.
 
The policy, which the Government sought to sneak through without a vote claims Labour, will mean over 2800 of Thurrock’s children, many growing up in poverty, will not be able to access a free school meal, according to the Children’s Society. The charity estimates it could affect over a million children across the country.
 
For some children, this could mean the difference between eating a hot meal that day, or going hungry say Labour.
 
As part of the same measure, the government is also planning to remove free childcare from those earning above the threshold.

For those Thurrock families that are affected, the income threshold will create a cliff-edge, meaning some parents could be better off either reducing their hours, or not taking additional hours or pay rises, because moving just above the income threshold would leave them hundreds of pounds worse off for each child affected. This directly undermines the Government’s stated aim of Universal Credit, to make work pay.

The Government’s plans to restrict free school meals and free childcare will be brought to the Commons next week, following an intervention from Labour to bring these plans to a binding vote.
 
John Kent, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Thurrock, has written to Jackie Doyle-Price, calling on her to vote the plans down. Speaking about the Government plans, John Kent said:
 
“The Tories are trying to leave over a million children without access to free school meals, that’s potentially 2,800 in our area alone.
 
“If Jackie Doyle-Price votes to literally take hot dinners away from the children of her constituents, I don’t know how she will be able to face Thurrock parents.
 
“The vote on Tuesday gives her an opportunity to show just whose side she is on; the poorest children in his constituency, or this Tory government imposing heartless cuts on low income families.
 
“I have written to Jackie Doyle-Price asking her to consider her priorities on Tuesday.”
 

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