§ Mr. Madden
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will elucidate her statement of 28th January with regard to the treatment of child benefit for the purposes of calculating entitlement to free school meals; and, in particular, what will be the appropriate part of child benefit to be disregarded.
§ Miss Margaret Jackson
This statement was made by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Social Security. From April until the next revision of the remission scales, the amount of child benefit which will be disregarded in assessing eligibility for free school meals for families not in receipt of supplementary benefit or family income supplement will be the amount by which parental income exceeds the income which would have been received if child benefit had not been paid and family allowances or 329W child interim benefit had been paid. My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science and my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Wales will shortly be laying before the House the necessary regulations to bring this into effect. My Department will be issuing guidance to local education authorities as soon as possible about the appropriate amounts to be disregarded, but I am not yet able to announce the details.