Maggie Thatcher was branded “the milk-snatcher” after she scrapped free school milk. David Cameron is doing even worse by planning to scrap universal free school meals for infants.
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has been told that unprotected areas of her budget must be cut by between 25 per cent and 40 per cent, and meals for the youngest pupils are being targeted.
That‘s a massive blow for children living in poverty. As many constituents know all too well, free meals are a critical lifeline for families facing hardship.
The scheme was introduced to ensure that all children aged between four and seven get a warm cooked lunch. It is estimated to save parents around £400 per child per year. Nationwide, around 1.6 million children now receive a free school meal through this scheme.
The Conservative Party’s 2015 general election manifesto included a commitment to ‘support families by providing free meals to all infants’. We now know that such promises were not worth the paper they were written on.
There is a very real risk that such a cut, combined with tax credit reductions, could see millions of children going hungry.
The Tories are picking on vulnerable children. How low can they get? A cabinet made up of millionaires is making the decision, which will hit worse-off families.