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A LESSON IN ECONOMICS

17-02-2010

Milk

Parents in Wolverhampton are in for a nasty surprise when the next academic year starts – school milk charges are set to rise by 25% a term, and pupils' meals are expected to rise by 10p per day.

Following hard on the heels of substantial increases in Meals on Wheels prices the latest price hikes are likely to be seized on by the opposition Labour group as evidence of more penny pinching by the Conservative-led coalition.

In this instance, though, they should be careful not to be too critical.

As a report to the local authority’s Cabinet makes clear the government’s School Lunch Grant, which subsidies meals to the tune of 11p to ensure they meet basic nutritional standards, is being withdrawn – while at the same time, the notional cost of meeting those standards is rising.

That leaves the Council to recommend School Governors to increase school meals by 20p over the next two years to £2 in primaries and £2.10 in secondaries.

Perhaps more controversial is the proposal to increase school milk charges by 25% to £10 per term.

The Council wants to reduce the current annual milk subsidy of more than £160,000, but will point out that in any event, charges to parents are lower than for neighbouring authorities.

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