Free school meals are to be extended to all infant pupils in England at a cost of £600million a year.
Nick Clegg will announce today that from next September an extra 1.5million children will qualify for the meals, regardless of their parents’ income.
The Deputy Prime Minister will tell the Lib Dem conference that the policy – which will save even the best-off families an average of £437 a year per child – was his price for agreeing to Tory plans for a tax break for married couples, worth about £150 a year.
Robert Oxley, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, blasted the move as a ‘conference gimmick’, while Mark Littlewood, of the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: ‘This is an enormously bad use of public money.’
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