HC Deb 05 February 1976 vol 904 cc697-8W
Mr. Cow

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the true cost of providing school meals at primary and secondary schools; what is the estimated cost of subsidising these meals during the current financial year; what is the estimated cost of providing these meals, assuming the current charge of 15p per meal; and what proposals he has for increasing the charge.

Miss Joan Lestor

The estimated cost of providing a school meal in November 1975 was 41½p. This is an average figure covering all maintained schools and is the latest estimate. Separate figures are not available for primary and secondary schools.

The gross cost of providing meals during the financial year 1975–76 is estimated at £476 million and income from charges at £145 million, assuming the current charge of 15p—with remission in cases of hardship—giving a total estimated subsidy of £331 million.

My right hon. Friend is not yet ready to make an announcement about the timing or amount of any future increases in the charge for meals.

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