Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/950/25514
Theresa 'Lunch Snatcher' May vs Jeremy 'free meals' Corbyn
Sofia Wiking, Leicester Socialist Party
Under plans unveiled in the Tories' manifesto, free lunches for infant school students will be scrapped. They were introduced under the Con-Dem government to draw attention away from its package of school cuts.
These cuts have just got worse, to the point where our schools are reaching breaking point - and now this concession is being taken away as well.
May proposes replacing the lunches with free breakfasts, which are cheaper - but which parents can therefore more easily afford. Many parents prefer to eat breakfast at home with their kids anyway.
This will be yet another way to disadvantage children who are already from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The plans have earned Theresa May her latest nickname of "Lunch Snatcher" - yet another comparison between her and Margaret "Milk Snatcher" Thatcher.
When Thatcher stopped free milk in schools, what might seem a minor issue became an important fighting ground for a working class fed up with the Tories. Then and now, we hardly need to grasp at straws to find unpopular Tory policies. Their manifesto goes after our weakest - children and the elderly.
A spokesperson from the National Union of Teachers has commented that "the benefits of a healthy and nutritious school lunch are well-documented, and for the four million children living in poverty - nine pupils in every class of 30 - this may well be their main meal of the day."
With record numbers using food banks, having free school meals could be a huge burden off a parent, not to mention the benefits it brings the child.
Jeremy Corbyn, on the other hand, has pledged to extend free school meals to all primary school children - junior as well as infant - to be paid for by taxing private schools. He has also promised more money for schools in general.
This is a step in the right direction. We need to fight for a Corbyn-led government, and a mass workers' party to defend and extend his programme. Kick out the Tories and the Blairites!
In The Socialist 24 May 2017:
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