I’ve looked again at that last post and I have to say I felt a little suspicious about that figure of a billion pounds a year quoted on Sky news.. So I thought I would do a little simple arithmetic.
A typical cost to the taxpayer of providing a child with a free meal at school is about £2.20. School term times add up to about 40, 5 day weeks of the year or 200 meals per child per year.
It is estimated that about 1.1 million children in Britain are eligible to claim a free meal, but only about 800,000 actually claim. Doing the sums gives a cost to the taxpayer of 352 million pounds a year. Not a billion then, or even close. Even if all those eligible claimed the cost would still only be £484 million.
There are about 26 million taxpayers in Britain. So put your hand up if you begrudge paying £18.62 per year to prevent British children going hungry. There are lots of things I begrudge my tax being spent on but that isn’t one of them.
One billion pounds would provide a free school meal to every primary school child in England. The cold hearted cruelty it would require to try and save money on these most vulnerable members of society is bad enough. But to argue on the basis of inaccurate and untruthful figures is just despicable.
So tell me Mr Cameron. How much did your meal cost the taxpayer? You know, the one at the guildhall banquet where you stuffed yourself so full you burst your shirt open, you greedy fat bastard. I'll bet it cost a lot more than £2.20!