Free school meals are a benefit for the middle class

Ryan Bourne appears on BBC Newcastle

Ryan Bourne, Head of Public Policy at the IEA, appears on BBC radio Newcastle to discuss today's launch of free school meals to all 5 - 7 year olds across the country. 

In the interview, Ryan argues against the policy. Given that the government are already borrowing over £100 billion, it is extraordinary that such a scheme has taken priority. The £600 million used to provide free school meals is in essence, a benefit for the middle class and when budgets are being squeezed, this allocation of public funds makes little sense. 

Ryan also makes the point that in order to justify such a scheme, there needs to be robust evidence that it offers substantial improvements to the outcomes of school children. This has not been the case however. 

You can listen to the programme in full here. Ryan's segment begins at 02:10:05.