The Welsh Government should introduce free meals for all infant school pupils in Wales, according to the Liberal Democrats. They say that an extra £54m will go to Wales as a result of spending on the scheme in England. Education Spokesman Aled Roberts says:
Free school meals not only encourage positive eating habits and help to improve concentration in the classroom, but would also mean significant savings for families.
The Welsh Liberal Democrats understand the financial strain families are under and we are doing all we can to help people in difficult times. Families spend around £430 on school meals in a year. We want the Welsh Labour Government to introduce free school meals to ease the pressure families in Wales are under.
– Aled Roberts AM, Welsh Liberal Democrats
This policy would ensure that every infant school pupil can sit down to a hot, healthy lunch with their classmates every day. It will help with their studies and also ensure they are receiving a healthy diet.
The Welsh Labour Government claim that offering free school breakfasts is enough. They are wrong. While the scheme has merits, take-up is very low. Figures show that only around 22% of pupils are currently arriving early to school to receive their free breakfast. Offering free school lunches would mean it reaches every child.