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Farron: May is snatching lunches from 1600 children living in poverty in Cumbria

May 31, 2017 3:17 PM

Almost 1600 children living in poverty across Cumbria will have their lunches taken away under Theresa May's plans to abolish universal free school lunches for infants, Liberal Democrat research has revealed. In total, nearly 14,000 children in Cumbria are set to lose out under the plans.

Of the 1599 children living in poverty who will lose out on free school meals across Cumbria, 167 live in Tim's Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency.

Those families losing out are expected to have to pay around £440 per child per year for their school lunches.

The Liberal Democrats have also calculated that under Conservative costings of just under 7p per child's breakfast, each child could expect to receive either half a boiled egg, one slice of bread with 12 baked beans or 37.5 cornflakes and 100ml of semi-skimmed milk.

Tim said: "The Conservatives are not only slashing school budgets, they are slashing the life chances of the most vulnerable children in our county.

"Theresa May's cruel policy will mean 1600 children living in poverty in Cumbria will lose out on free school lunches. This will mean greater inequality and struggling families having to pay hundreds of pounds on lunches a year.

"The Conservatives' promise of a free breakfast is cynical and clearly not designed to reach all children. They have set aside a meagre 7p per breakfast per child, the price of half a boiled egg or just one slice of bread with 12 baked beans.

"This policy was introduced because the evidence showed that it improves pupil attention, boosts attainment and helps to give every child a fair chance in life. The Liberal Democrats will stand up against this mean-spirited vision of Britain and extend free school lunches to all primary school children."