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It is abundantly clear that Labour and Plaid are totally out of touch, have no interest in addressing the underlying reasons that lead to people needing free school meals, and do not have the interest of the poorest in society at heart.

Labour and Plaid are to roll out free school meals (FSMs) to all primary school children in Wales, in a move that will see the children of rich families being fed on the taxpayer.From September, some of the youngest children in primary schools will begin receiving FSMs as part of the policy’s phasing in so that all primary pupils – regardless of how rich their family is – are in receipt of them by September 2024.Revenue funding of up to £200m has been set aside for local authorities to deliver the commitment.Mark Drakeford and Adam Price, the leaders of the socialist and nationalist parties, neglected to mentioned the consequences for the Pupil Development Grant – aimed at the most deprived in society – that relies on free school meals as a means to determine who receives it.Via the Grant, learners currently eligible for FSMs can apply for the grant of £125 per person, and £200 for those entering year 7, recognising the increased costs associated with starting secondary school.Commenting, Welsh Conservative and Shadow Education Minister Laura Anne Jones MS said:
“At a time when there is a cost-of-living crisis, it is totally wrong for Labour and their nationalist partners to collude to give free school meals to the children of millionaires when it has never been more essential to target support at those who need it most.“Labour and Plaid’s desire to chase headlines has also blinded them to the implications this would have for those from deprived backgrounds as it distorts how the Pupil Development Grant is allocated. If this goes ahead, we need a new formula to determine who needs that extra money.“It is abundantly clear that Labour and Plaid are totally out of touch, have no interest in addressing the underlying reasons that lead to people needing free school meals, and do not have the interest of the poorest in society at heart.”