Isle of Man summer meal vouchers ‘show failings in benefits system’ – BBC News

The need for a meal voucher scheme for school pupils is “a clear acknowledgment” the benefits system is not “up to the task”, an MHK has said.

About 2,000 children will receive free school meals during the summer holidays after Tynwald approved the move.

Backing the move, Lawrie Hooper said it showed failings in the current system.

Education Minister Alex Allinson said the scheme was a “sticking plaster” over inequalities, which have been “magnified” by the Covid-19 pandemic.

He added that now was the time to “analyse and tackle them head-on”.

The scheme was unanimously backed by Tynwald members.

Anne Corlett MHK said it was a “quick fix to solve a problem that we think we have”.

She added that although “no child on our island should go hungry, and no parent should have to go without food to feed their children”, work needed to be done to establish “whether there’s a problem” and “how to target any help”.

Dr Allinson said such schemes were “in some ways, a sticking plaster to cover inequalities which still exist in our society”.

“This scheme should help over the summer, but we need to do much more in a coherent and evidence-based approach going forward.”

He added that the issue was being looked into by the government’s cold, hunger and homelessness working group.

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Source: bbc.co.uk

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