Nick Clegg will today confirm that all pupils will receive free schools meals for their first three years of education – in a coalition deal that paves the way for Conservatives to introduce a tax break for married couples.
From next September all children in reception, year one and year two will automatically get their lunches paid for by the state, in a move designed to improve concentration in the classroom.
Critics pointed out that the scheme, which has an annual £600m price tag, will see a subsidy worth £437 a year per child handed to well-off parents.
“The government already ensures that those in need have access to free school meals, so it beggars belief that we are now going to see a policy instated which will subsidise the children of affluent families,” said Mark Littlewood of the Institute of Economic Affairs.
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