Free school meals won’t benefit families most in need


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Mark Littlewood comments on the launch of free school meals in the UK

Commenting on the launch of free school meals for all 5 – 7 year olds, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The launch of universal free school meals is an unacceptable use of taxpayers’ money. Avenues of support already exist for those households in need and implementing such a policy will see the taxpayer fund the children of affluent families. The government would be better placed to introduce a £437 tax cut each year and provide parents with some choice.

“If the government is serious about easing the cost of living for low and middle earners, providing free school meals is a poorly targeted tool which will do little to help those feeling the squeeze. Planning liberalisation and deregulating the energy sector to bring down the cost of fuel and property, is a far more effective way to reduce the financial burden on families.”

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Notes to editors:

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

The IEA is a registered educational charity and independent of all political parties.