Richard Bacon MP responds to fallout following vote to not fund free school meals
South Norfolk MP Richard Bacon has explained his decision to vote against directly funding free school meals over the school holidays until Easter 2021.
The 57-year-old explained that he would rather see the money – which was understood to be around £20 million – distributed throughout the welfare system, while also highlighting the efforts being made by both central and local government.
“I strongly support free school meals for children who need them,” said the Tory MP.
“During the holidays, when children are not actually at school, it is not at all obvious that schools are best placed to provide meals for children.
“I would rather see the extra money targeted through our welfare system.
“In Norfolk, our local councils are doing a good job in helping vulnerable people, including children, and the Government has provided extra money to help councils to do this.
“Norfolk County Council is spending millions of pounds offering vulnerable people emergency cash and food, as well as helping with bills, including rent arrears.
“And the Government has also increased Universal Credit payments by £1,000 per year.”
MPs came under fire after voting against the motion in the Commons last month, with a small protest even taking place along Mere Street in Diss.