Keith, Graham and Iain

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Free school lunches for all infants

by Iain Roberts on 20 September, 2013

As Nick Clegg announced at the Lib Dem conference last week, every child in a state school in Reception, year 1 or year 2 will receive free school lunches from September 2014, saving the average family £437 per child.

Pilots around the country have found that giving all children free school meals boosts academic performance, and also avoids the situation where for a whole variety of reasons poorer families who are entitled to free school meals fail to claim them.

Iain said “This is a great way to boost achievement in schools and help hard-pressed parents. Coming on top of the Pupil Premium and additional funding for nursery places it shows that the Lib Dems in Government are making a real and very positive difference.”

   3 Comments

3 Responses

  1. Bruce Thwaite says:

    This policy was vehemently opposed by Simon Hughes a few years back – quote “Labour-run Southwark Council are wasting extraordinary amounts of money.They are spending £15 million giving free school meals, some of this going to the borough’s richest families, irrespective of whether they can afford to pay for them already – unquote

    This is another universal benefit and will enable children of millionaires to get free lunches. This seems at odds with the policy on child benefit and at a time of austerity how can we afford it? Fixing tax loop holes is pure sophistry.

    The hard pressed parents you mention saw their vatable purchases rise by 2.5% thanks to this government and yet another above average rise in council tax thanks to the local council (the highest rates in Greater Manchester).

    All I hope is that the next government is not another wretched coalition.

  2. Iain Roberts says:

    If so, I’m glad that Simon’s now had a chance to see new evidence and been persuaded of the case.

    I’m glad that this Government has shown that coalition can work in the UK (despite all the doubters in 2010) – not easy, but right.

  3. Bruce Thwaite says:

    Just rank hypocrisy from your party – and another universal benefit.
    With colleagues like the Libdems you don’t need enemies – especially Vince Cable

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