§ Mr. Win Griffiths
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received seeking amendment of section 77 of the Social Security Act 175W 1986 to enable local authorities to receive directly the £2.20 included in the family credit to compensate for the loss of free school meals; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Portillo
Representations have been received from one local authority. Paying the £2.55 directly to local authorities would be inconsistent with the Government's policy of providing benefits to working families wherever possible in the form of cash rather than kind. There would in any case be significant practical difficulties.