Letter of the week: Government's welfare changes will hit South Tyneside school children

The Government's new all encompassing benefit to replace Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and other in work payments, has already caused numerous problems while claimants all over the UK transfer over to the new scheme.

Critics fear changes to free school meals will affect 1,700 pupils across South Tyneside.
Critics fear changes to free school meals will affect 1,700 pupils across South Tyneside.

First we had uncertainty over how housing benefit would change, with tenants facing eviction because landlords hadn’t received their rent, then it was discovered that existing claimants may not receive a payment before Christmas, leading to a spike in food bank usage.

After the release of a new report from The Children’s Society, it’s now been revealed that about 1,700 children in South Tyneside will lose their free school meals as a result of the proposed changes to the welfare system, which has been described as "cliff edge" by critics.

Parents with one child would need to earn an extra £1,124 a year to keep this service and this cost obviously goes up for more children.

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This is not some unforeseen consequence during the implementation of a system designed to help people. This is a planned attempt to make the worst off in our society suffer even more from a Government that lacks any basic sense of humanity.

Remember, most of those affected by these changes are in work yet still require help.

The Green Party opposes the roll out of Universal Credit and calls on the Government to scrap its changes to the welfare system.

Matthew Giles,

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South Tyneside Green Party.