§ Mr. Lawson
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what was the net cost to public funds of providing school meals in 1977–78; what is the planned net cost for 1978–79, 1979–80, 1980–81 and 1981–82; and how much of the total net cost in each of the years specified is accounted for by the cost of providing free meals (a) to qualifying pupils and (b) to teachers and school meals staff.293W
§ Miss Margaret Jackson
, pursuant to her reply [Official Report, 4th May 1978; Vol. 949, c. 201], gave the following information:
The estimated outturn expenditure in England and Wales for 1977–78, and the planned expenditure for later years based on the latest public expenditure White Paper (Cnmd. 7049), revalued to 1978 survey prices, are as follows:
Cost of provision of free meals for Year Total net cost £ million (a) pupils £ million (b) adults £ million 1977–78 377 111 49 1978–79 323* 136 53 1979–80 265 132 51 1980–81 264 129 51 1981–82 260 126 51 * The decision, announced in the Budget Statement on 11th April 1978, not to increase the charge for the school dinner this autumn will add £56 million to this figure. No decision about the level of charge has been taken for years after 1978–79.