X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Coffee House

Lib Dem conference: Nick Clegg to announce free school meals for all infant school pupils

17 September 2013

5:01 PM

17 September 2013

5:01 PM

Nick Clegg has had a good party conference, and wants to round it off with an announcement that will leave a warm glow in delegates’ tummies. So he’s announcing free school meals for all children in infant school from next September.

This will be a key feature in the Deputy Prime Minister’s speech tomorrow afternoon, and also represents the key trade between the two coalition parties over tax breaks for married couples. The latter is likely to appear in a conference speech or two when the Tories meet in Manchester the week after next, and the Lib Dems have a provision in the Coalition Agreement that they will abstain on this policy. Clegg will attack the policy directly in his speech, saying:

‘The Conservatives, on the other hand, have made it clear that their priority is to help some families over others, with tax break for married couples. A tax break for some, funded through the taxes of others. That tells you everything you need to know about their values.’

[Alt-Text]


The marriage tax break will cost around £550 million a year, while this new free school meals policy will cost £600 million and will apply to reception, and years 1 and 2. The Lib Dems point to pilots showing that in pilots where all children had been given a free school dinner, attainment rose, as well as children being more likely to eat vegetables at lunchtime. Between 3 per cent and 5 per cent more children reached target levels in Maths and English at Key Stage 1, a bigger improvement than the 3.6 per cent rise caused by the compulsory literacy hour.

But sources close to Clegg also say that ‘this is about helping families who are squeezed with the cost of living’: the policy will save parents around £400 a year. The Lib Dem leader will say:

‘We, however, will help all families in these tough times, not just the kind we like best, by helping their young children get the best possible start in life – and that tells you everything about ours.’

As well as being an attempt to improve children’s nutritional intake, this is also clearly a policy aimed at taking down Labour on their big cost of living drive. David Laws managed another victory on that front earlier this week when he announced new guidance controlling the cost of school uniforms, which was another issue Labour MPs were just beginning to burrow into.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close