In climbdown, UK government gives extra support to struggling families |
LONDON, Nov 8 — Britain’s government will give extra support to prevent families going hungry or without essential items this winter, a climbdown after resisting calls by footballer Marcus Rashford to extend free school meals to disadvantaged children.
Britain’s work and pensions department said it would provide a new €170 million pound (RM923 million Winter Grant scheme to local councils, with at least 80 per cent earmarked for support with food and bills until the end of March, among other provisions.
The government has been under pressure to help those on low incomes to feed their children especially after more people have lost jobs due to the Cov-19 pandemic, but parliament, where the governing Conservatives have a majority, voted against extending free school meal vouchers last month.
“We want to make sure vulnerable people feel cared for throughout this difficult time and, above all, no one should go hungry or be unable to pay their bills this winter,” Work and Pensions Secretary, Therèse Coffey, said in a statement.
Rashford, who spoke to Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday after his club Manchester United won a premiership match, said the move would improve the lives of almost 1.7 million children, but added that “there is still much to do”.— Reuters