Northumberland Labour says the rise in children receiving school meals is a stark reminder of how the government is letting our children down.
Leader Scott Dickinson said: “A glance at the government’s own statistics* shows the shocking decline in living standards and wellbeing for children in the UK.
In 2021, 20.8 per cent of children were receiving free school meals. This year the figure is 22.5 per cent; a staggering 1.9m of the nine million children in this country.
“Parents and families hardly need telling that this is a government that simply doesn’t care about the next generation.
“Twelve years of Tory rule have chipped and chipped away at living standards for all but the very rich. Their polices have created this situation. As a country we should be ashamed of a government that is letting down the future generation in this callous way.
“It’s not even true anymore that people who work hard can be properly rewarded and earn enough to look after a family; costs are going up, wages are standing still, millions of people are relying on food banks and thousands more have been plunged into poverty.
“The Tory government seems to have no will to get unscrupulous employers to provide appropriate pay and conditions for employees, so individuals and and families rely on benefits (funded by us, the tax payer) and the charitable sector to help them make ends meet. So these companies can get you and me to bail them out while they make obscene profits.
“You might have expected to read this in Victorian Britain but surely we deserve better than this in 2022.
“The highest taxing government for generations is quite happy to allow children to be the casualties of its callous policies. This cannot be right in 2022.
“We need a government which is on the side of ordinary people who simply want the dignity to be able to provide for themselves and their families.”