13 June 2010

Tories cut free school lunches for children from low income families

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, as decided to abolish free school meals for children from low income families. This means that those on the lowest incomes could face an annual bill equivalent to at least 2 weeks' income, per child.

I do wonder what schools are supposed to with those children (in particular those too young to understand why they cannot have a school dinner like their classmates) at lunchtime or when those children are too distracted by hunger in the afternoon to study? What about those schools in low income areas where a significant proportion of the pupils receive free school meals? Perhaps the school will have to close up their kitchen because it's not economical to run for such a small number of diners?

Free school meals for children of low income or destitute families started in the 1880s and became universal in 1944. I had them in the 1980s, without them lunch would have been nothing or just a packet of supermarket own brand crisps because we couldn't afford anything more.

I think we've got a strong chance, based on the Tory-LibDem alliance's actions so far, of a double dip recession and wouldn't completely rule out a bloody revolution.

I am reminded of something Andrew Marr said in his series "History of Modern Britain". He was talking about the impact of the Thatcher government of the early 1980s and raised the point that "Britain used to be a country proud that you didn't see beggars in the street, now you saw them everywhere."

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