Eligibility for free school meals in Wales
As Universal Credit (UC) continues to be rolled out across the country, replacing most of the legacy ‘passport’ benefits for free school meals, the Welsh Government is proposing a net earnings threshold of £7,400. This would mean that only mean that only those on the lowest incomes would be eligible. LITRG has raised concerns over the introduction of such a threshold. In particular, the cliff-edge nature the threshold undermines the UC principle that work should always pay. For example, a family earning just under this threshold might face the choice between accepting a small increase in pay or losing free school meals for all children in that household.
Currently, a family claiming Universal Credit is eligible for free school meals under ‘interim’ measures. In order to mitigate the cliff-edge effect and to protect those who are currently entitled to free school meals from losing out, LITRG has recommended that all those on Universal Credit should remain eligible.
You can read our full response here: Eligibility for free school meals in Wales – LITRG response