The brilliant charity initiative of providing around 3,200 children’s lunches a day in the school summer holidays is taking shape.

It’s one of the key initiatives in Bolton to prevent hunger and assist families experiencing poverty so that more people in the Borough can have the chance of a good life.

Throughout the pandemic families living on universal credit welfare payments got an extra £20 a week to support them. Around 20-25% of people in Bolton receive pay below the real living wage and many qualify for universal credit. There is unchecked, widening inequality in pay rates in the country under the government. We live each day with higher inequality than any EU country save Bulgaria. Poor British households are much poorer than their equivalents in France or Germany.

There was a sharp rise in income and spending worries by people on welfare benefits when the pandemic took hold. Heating and electricity costs in the home are just one of them.

There are people working on low incomes and in insecure weekly work in receipt of universal credit. Many have had less work and have lost work in the pandemic.

Labour is making a very strong case for the government to continue with an uplift to universal credit payments so that families can be helped in this time of Covid recovery.

It is a bad decision to make people in Bolton struggle more when they need to be fit to make use of offers of help to find more secure work and work with better pay.

Cllr Sue Haworth