‘Now is not the time to reduce support’ according to Children’s Commissioner

4 July 2023

Responding to reductions in support for children through out-of-term free school meal provision, and the school essentials grant, Rocio Cifuentes MBE said:

“A significant number of children completing my national survey last year told my office that they worry about having enough to eat. Parents said that they worry about providing their children with three meals a day, and the cost of the school day, including uniform. While I recognise the strain on the public purse, it’s a sad irony that shortly after publishing a draft Child Poverty Strategy the Welsh Government has announced a reduction in this critical support. I am very worried about those children and how their families will manage over the summer, especially with living costs still incredibly high, particularly for food. Children should not go hungry in Wales, and I’m worried that this change will increase the number who do this summer.

“These interventions by Welsh Government have provided much-needed support to children and families in Wales. Now is not the time to reduce the support offered to these families who are still facing significant pressures.  I’ve requested more information from the Welsh Government on their decision-making so that we can better understand how they think the implications of stopping this critical support for children will be mitigated.”