5-speed listening (Free School Meals - Level 3)

UK government votes against free meals for poorer children



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Medium (N. American English)



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The UK government voted against giving poor children free school lunches during the school holidays. Only five politicians in the ruling Conservative party voted to help poorer children with a daily lunch. A huge majority of the government voted against the weekly $20-per-child food voucher. The government is now under pressure to make a U-turn. It made a U-turn in the summer over free school meals. The Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford started a successful campaign to get the government to reverse its decision not to provide school lunches for poorer children during the coronavirus pandemic. Mr Rashford has started another campaign to pressure the government into another U-turn.

The UK government is under growing pressure to U-turn. The British public is furious that politicians are refusing to provide the food vouchers. For many children, the voucher would mean getting their only proper meal of the day during the holidays. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would not U-turn. He said: "I totally understand the issue of holiday hunger". Many people on social media said Mr Johnson does not understand hunger because he comes from a wealthy family and has always had money. People are angry COVID-19 track-and-trace consultants are paid over $8,000 a day but children cannot have a $20 food voucher. Many stores across the UK are banning politicians from their businesses.

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