Here is what some Liberal Democrats used to think about free school meals

The Liberal Democrats have not always been so enthusiastic about free school meals.

It is sometimes said of the Liberal Democrats that they say one thing to voters in the South West and another to voters up North. This is a little unfair: not all Lib Dems behave in that fashion.

Some, however, most certainly do. Yesterday Nick Clegg announced that his party will provide free school meals to 1.5million children aged five to seven. And yet, here is what the Lib Dems in Southwark thought of free school meals until very recently:

Stealing Labour policies, then. An apology is in order, perhaps?

Hat Tip: @GavinEdwards77————————-Update —————————–

It turns out it wasn’t just Southark that the Lib Dems were actively campaigning against free school meals.

In Wales too:

Free school meals 2

And in Hull:

Free school meals 3

And Workington:

Free school meals 4

Anywhere else?


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7 Responses to “Here is what some Liberal Democrats used to think about free school meals”

  1. Harry Reid

    “Stealing Labour policies, then. An apology is in order, perhaps?”

    Stealing Labour policy? Liberal government introduced them in the first place…

  2. neil nerva

    Ain’t the web great – how about this

    “No such thing as a free lunch,” say Lib Dems

    February 23, 2009 10:59 AM

    Lib Dem finance chief John Gilbert

    Islington Liberal Democrat councillors have slammed Labour’s plans for taxpayer-funded school meals in the borough as expensive and not helping those most in need.

    Research by the Lib Dems showed that a similar scheme in Hull cost the council there £12.5 million in the three short years that it was up and running. Without funding from the Government, Islington taxpayers would be left with a bill of at least £3m every year to pay for Labour’s plans.

    Liberal Democrats have identified the following problems with Labour’s plans to introduce taxpayer-funded meals for primary children:

    the Labour Government won’t fund a pilot scheme as Islington doesn’t meet its criteria so local taxpayers will have to pick up the whole tab.

    it does nothing for secondary school children for whom there is much greater need.

    will lead to a dramatic drop in Government schools funding for Islington as it is based on number of people who sign-up for free school meals

    will give taxpayer-funded school meals to families who can afford to pay for them.

    will mean subsidising families living in other boroughs using local schools.

    Cllr Paula Belford, Islington Lib Dem executive member for children, comments:

    “If Labour really wanted to help children from poor families get a healthy meal they would have proposed free school meals for families on low wages but who don’t currently qualify for free school meals. Instead they have decided to grab the headlines with this expensive and ineffective proposal.”

    Cllr John Gilbert, Lib Dem Finance boss, comments:

    “There is no such thing as a free lunch. The full cost of Labour´s plan would be £3million every year.

    “Labour’s proposal flies in the face of economic sense and doesn’t help the neediest. Instead, Labour will squander money from some of the most hard-pressed local taxpayers on children from some of the richest families in Islington.”

  3. Rita Stroud

    How can they have a go at Labour is beyond me, When it’s done through a council it’s taxpayers money and when the government does it, it’s government funded. It all comes out of the same pot. The government doesn’t have separate pots. If they did there would be no problems with the funding for roads and funding for pensions. It would have been in accounts that helps the money put into it via the NI and the Road tax.

  4. Rosie2

    Free meals scrapped to pay for school improvement scheme

    Education secretary says raising attainment is more important than Labour’s plan to extend free school meals

  5. champollion

    When its Government funded the Gov pays for it? are you nuts? it still comes out of taxpayers money, I suppose you think the MPs pay for it with their own money?

  6. Blaydon1

    Greg Mulholland, Lib Dem MP….’If I tackle head on the question whether there should be free school meals for all, from my own position as a parent—admittedly of a one-year-old, who will not be starting school for a few years—I must ask whether I should expect or demand that my child’s school meals be paid for while I am on a salary of £59,500 a year. Actually, I do not.’

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