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THE government denied today it was “dragging its feet” over whether to make free school meals permanently available to children in some families with no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
Children and families minister Will Quince told MPs on the work and pensions committee that he hoped to make an announcement “at the earliest available opportunity.”
NRPF is a condition applied to those staying in Britain on temporary immigration status and who have not yet qualified for permanent residency, restricting their access to public funds.
In April 2020, the government temporarily extended free school meals to children in some NRPF families as the coronavirus outbreak hit schools.
Charities and campaigners such as England footballer Marcus Rashford have called for this to be made permanent.
The government has been reviewing this for over a year.
Labour MP Jon Trickett told the Star: “You can learn all you need to know about a government by seeing how it treats the nation’s children.
“The fact that almost a third of our kids in poverty is shocking enough. But the government is now dragging its heels on school meals.
“It has no moral authority to govern. It’s time the whole lot of them were kicked out.”
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