Thursday, 28 January 2010

Free School Meals in Wales

Here are some interesting data from a comparison of Free School Meal entitlement in Wales between January 2008 and January 2009:

In January 2008 only three Welsh local authorities had more than 25% of pupils entitled to FSM's - Cardiff South and Penarth, Rhondda and Merthyr. By January 2009, there were six authorities, they were joined by Abaravon, Cynon Valley and Blaenau Gwent who had more than quarter of their pupils entitled to FSM

In 2008, both Brecon and Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire had less than 10% of pupils on FSM, but in 2009, only Brecon and Radnorshire was at less than 10%

The two authorities to have seen the biggest jump in percentages have been Blaenau Gwent from 22.1% to 26.7% and Wrecsam from 15.2% to 17.7%.

The movement hasn't all been one way, 5 authorities have seen the proportions fall over the year Arfon, Brecon & Radnorshire, Carmarthen West, Gower, Monmouth and Torfaen.

These proportions are likely to worsen even though we are technically out of a recession for the simple reason that the children of claimants of contributions based Job Seekers Allowance are not entitled to FSM and CBJSA claimants will be on that benefit for 6 months before they go onto Income based JSA when their children will be entitled to FSM; just another little anomaly in the benefits system.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

What do you mean by 'Free' School Meals? Nothing is 'Free'. It's paid for by the tax-payer. it might be free to somebody unemployed and who has kids but for somebody like me.....who hasn't got any kids and who works hard for his weekly wage.....yes I get paid weekly, it comes at a cost. FCUK, may as well all reproduce ad-infinitum regardless of whether or not we can afford to have kids.....because somebody else can pick up the tab. 'Free' schools meals! Really?

Anonymous said...

Another tolerant individual, don't suppose you thought that the children didn't have much say in being born into poverty did they?

Anonymous said...

Listen mutt, I'm willing to tolerate anybody, but am not willing to pay for somebody else's life choices. Obviously, you're a much better person. Probably working in the public sector earning a good wage with a tidy pension at the end of it all in the name of public service of course.

Plaid Whitegate said...

Anon@ 22.14

No, nothing is free - we all pay for our NHS, our schools and other essential services (through income tax, council tax, indirect tax and duties).
The logic of your statement is that we should pay for the services we use and that healthy people should not pay for the NHS treatment of ill people.

Anonymous said...

Plaid Whitegate.

I didn't mention anything about the NHS. I don't think that illness is generally a life choice.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - If you were unfortunate enough to be made redundant would you accept the £64 Job Seekers Allowance because it was someone else's hard earned money. It's easy to have small government mentality and principles when you don't need benefits yourself. Let's see if you change your view when you become old and infirm and need help.

Plaid Whitegate said...

@Anon 07:47

The comparison is clear. By your reckoning, people who got ill because of life choices (e.g. too much alcohol, smoking, eating and lack of exercise) should pay for their treatment. A civilised society doesn't work that way because no-one knows when they will need the safety net of health care or social services.

@Anon 08:13 - Good point. School meals now cost me £20 a week. I couldn't afford that on JSA.

Anonymous said...

Again, I don't think that being old age and infirmity is a life choice. I said illness was not a choice for anybody so please don't split hairs with talking about alcholism etc.

If I was mady unemployed then the £64 per week JSA wouldn't in any way match what I've paid in over they years in tax and NI. If someboy has been working and is then made unemployed, then his contributions beforehand would act as a form of insurance policy....but in actual fact all too often, it goes to support those whove made a life choice not to work or bang out kids at the rate of nots. Next?

Anonymous said...

Answer the question Nonny, would you deny NHS care to folk who are ill because of life choices - booze, fags, too many pies? Don't avoid the question, you sound like a bloody politician.

Anonymous said...

Since you would like to cloud the issue.....to answer your question.....there is an argument for denying NHS care to these people.....but some of them may well have been employed through their working lives and on top of that payid taxes on booze and cigs so who am I to say that they shouldn't be treated. I take issue with paying a blank cheque to people who havn't and who have no intention of contributing through making a choice.

Plaid Whitegate said...

@ Anon 13:38

We're back to the notion of the "deserving poor" and the "undeserving poor". Yes, a tiny minority opt for a life of crime, etc but the majority of people on the dole/sick don't choose that as a lifestyle. They would love a job.

PS Can the various Anons try to differentiate between themselves?

Anonymous said...

There are only two Anonymouses, one with a social conscience and one without

Anonymous said...

But Plaid Whitegate, how can you say that the majority on the dole don't choose that lifestyle? We've had hundred's of thousands, if not more according to some, of Eastern Europeans enter the UK and get jobs and made something of themselves. How can we have so many natives unable to find work if these people can? I will tell you once again.....sickness isn't a life-style choice.

Anon without a conscience.

Anonymous said...

...and further to the above, the only way that Wales can be a successfull indpendent nation is by ridding itself of this dependency culture. It's called self-respect. Something which I'm afraid is in very short supply amongst too many living here. And Labour, throughout the years have tapped into this dependency culture and got their votes.....and you know what, they have continued to be.....dependant. It's like everything else, you continue to give hand-outs or mini bailouts and you don't create the need or yearning for change. But you probably know that in any case. You (Plaid) just want their votes. Same as Labour before you and who continue to do so.