Opinion Former Article

CIOT: Autumn Statement: Extension of free school meals will improve work incentives

The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG) very much welcome the announcement in the Autumn Statement that entitlement to free school meals is being extended to all children in reception and years 1 and 2.  This gives effect to a long-standing LITRG recommendation.

Robin Williamson, Technical Director of LITRG, said:

“Unless support benefits such as free school meals are co-ordinated with mainstream welfare payments, such as tax credits and means-tested benefits, the interaction between the two can produce real disincentives to enter or remain in work." 

"This has been the problem so far in that once people enter work their childrn are no longer entitled to free school meals. This can result in affected households being better off financially staying on benefits, even if getting a job means they become eligible for working tax credit. That is why we greatly welcome the extension of the programme announced today.”

Notes for editors

1.       The Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG)

LITRG is an initiative of the Chartered Institute of Taxation to give a voice to the unrepresented. Since 1998 LITRG has been working to improve the policy and processes of the tax, tax credits and associated welfare systems for the benefit of those on low incomes.

2.       The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT)


The CIOT is the leading professional body in the United Kingdom concerned solely with taxation. The CIOT is an educational charity, promoting education and study of the administration and practice of taxation. One of our key aims is to work for a better, more efficient, tax system for all affected by it – taxpayers, their advisers and the authorities. The CIOT’s work covers all aspects of taxation, including direct and indirect taxes and duties. Through our Low Incomes Tax Reform Group (LITRG), the CIOT has a particular focus on improving the tax system, including tax credits and benefits, for the unrepresented taxpayer.


The CIOT draws on our members’ experience in private practice, commerce and industry, government and academia to improve tax administration and propose and explain how tax policy objectives can most effectively be achieved. We also link to, and draw on, similar leading professional tax bodies in other countries. The CIOT’s comments and recommendations on tax issues are made in line with our charitable objectives: we are politically neutral in our work.


The CIOT’s 16,500 members have the practising title of ‘Chartered Tax Adviser’ and the designatory letters ‘CTA’, to represent the leading tax qualification.



George Crozier
External Relations Manager

D: +44 (0)20 7340 0569
M: +44 (0)7740 477374

The Chartered Institute of Taxation
Registered charity number 1037771
www.tax.org.uk

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