The Rhondda Member of the Senedd has blasted the Labour Party for voting down a Plaid Cymru motion that would have given free school meals to all children whose families receive Universal Credit.
The Plaid Cymru amendment to next year’s draft budget was voted down by Labour members during a Senedd debate this week. Figures have shown that 70,000 children living below the UK poverty line in Wales are currently not eligible for Free School Meals.
Leanne Wood, who is the party’s spokesperson on Justice and Equality, said a Plaid Cymru Government would commit to the principle of free school meals for all - starting with expanding eligibility for children in every household receiving universal credit.
Leanne said: “Under a Labour Government, Wales currently has the least generous free school meal provision in the UK. That is an absolute scandal and a national disgrace.
“With our budget amendment this week, Plaid Cymru gave Labour the opportunity to right this wrong but they rejected it out of hand.
“This is disappointing and it means extra hardship for the many struggling families in the Rhondda that could do with this help.
“With the food share scheme I have set up, I have seen first-hand the need that is out there in our communities and it is devastating. I would like Labour Members of the Senedd and their candidates explain to people in the Rhondda why they refuse to extend free school meal provision.”
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