Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum
cashinmattress

Free School Meals May Be Scrapped

Recommended Posts

link

Free school meals could soon be scrapped and people paid to look after elderly neighbours as councils take desperate measures to deliver a “tidal wave” of spending cuts, ministers will be warned on Tuesday.

Closures of municipal theatres, leisure centres, libraries and play groups will accelerate because of a 50 per cent reduction in local authorities’ spending power, according to a report from an independent think-tank.

The New Local Government Network said town halls will struggle to cope with a £16.5bn gulf which could, under current Coalition plans, open between their income and the demands on them.

The disparity will leave them facing huge problems meeting their commitments to care for the millions of “baby boomers” reaching old age and educate growing numbers of children.

The financial pressures could become so acute that ordinary householders could even be paid to look after elderly and vulnerable neighbours as a cheaper alternative to employing skilled carers, the organisation speculates.

Councils could scale back the entitlement of youngsters from lower-income families to free school meals and transport, charge for careers advice and even trim budgets for special needs classes.

They could also be tempted to encourage schools to turn themselves into academies so that authorities no longer have to bear the expense of running education support services.

The Network raised the alarm after George Osborne’s Budget last month signalled plans for deep cuts to non-protected areas – including local government – after the general election.

Whitehall spending will be cut by a further £11.5bn in 2015-16 and, although no figures have yet been produced for later years, academic experts calculated the reduction could be as high as £15bn by 2017-18 if the Conservatives win the next election. Cuts on that scale could also be implemented if Labour is victorious, the think-tank said.

It would amount to a 50 per cent fall in real terms in English councils’ spending power over a six-year period, forcing town halls to raise council tax and make more staff redundant.

Authorities in less prosperous areas of the North-East, Yorkshire, Lancashire and the West Midlands could be forced to make even deeper and earlier cuts than in the rest of the country, it said.

The think-tank said the cuts could dwarf the massive withdrawal of Whitehall funding to local councils by the Thatcher Government in the early 1980s.

Simon Parker, its director, told the Independent: “Local government is facing a tidal wave of cuts that makes the 1980s look like a day at the beach. On current trends, the best case scenario is that by 2018 the public will pay more for a lot less – no council leisure centres, far fewer libraries, an end to education support and tighter constraints on who receives social care. In many parts of the country, things could get a lot worse as some councils face effective bankruptcy.”

The findings emerged from a “war gaming” exercise conducted with more than 50 senior council officials in which they were challenged to produce a budget for a fictional authority, but based on real spending data and economic modelling from the Local Government Association.

Even the most imaginative efficiency savings and sharing of functions will fail to plug the gap, the Network said, and without urgent action statutory services such as education and social services could “buckle” under the strain.

In a report today, it says: “More of the same will be insufficient. Salami-slicing leaves little, to no, room for manoeuvre after 2015. Councils must readdress the type and level of services they deliver across the board.”

The Network calls for health service, police and job centre budgets to be integrated with local councils and for authorities to be given a bigger share of local economic growth.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman said: “Local Government accounts for around a quarter of all public spending so it is only right that councils play their part in driving down the deficit, using their strong track-record in delivering efficiencies while maintaining frontline services.”

He said: “Every public service can be improved so that it works better and costs less by stripping out duplication and waste. Local Government budgets were protected from further reductions in 2013/14. Many councils are already finding innovative ways to save taxpayers' money.”

Hilary Benn, the shadow Communities Secretary, said: “This report clearly links the very difficult decisions that councils are having to make about the services that people value and rely on with the unfair cuts imposed by central Government. It is inevitable, given the scale of these cuts, that people locally will increasingly see a damaging effect on the civic infrastructure they have worked so hard to build over the years.”

Alas, Brits keep voting in politicians who ensure the status quo. They give you a hand job with the right hand, but lift your wallet with the left.

Oh well. I guess parents may just have to get up a bit earlier to be more accountable to the food that goes into their children's bellies.

All that is required is to have corporations pay their fare share of taxes, which they do not.

AND

Take away inheritance breaks and force elderly to sell their properties to fund the what will mostly be massive palliative care costs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

link

Alas, Brits keep voting in politicians who ensure the status quo. They give you a hand job with the right hand, but lift your wallet with the left.

Oh well. I guess parents may just have to get up a bit earlier to be more accountable to the food that goes into their children's bellies.

All that is required is to have corporations pay their fare share of taxes, which they do not.

AND

Take away inheritance breaks and force elderly to sell their properties to fund the what will mostly be massive palliative care costs.

I think the best way of doing this is to treat the prime residence the same as any other asset. It seems disgraceful to me that you can have £16,001 in a savings account and nothing else and get absolutely nothing, but own a £3million house and have £5k savings and get every benefit there is. At some point it will be liquidated and have a cash value anyway...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my friends at school had free school meals. He used to get a bag of chips, crisps and a can of coke (allowance of 1.10 a day) apart from 'healthy' Wednesday where there were no chips so he'd get an extra twp bags of crisps. Late 90s.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

link

Alas, Brits keep voting in politicians who ensure the status quo. They give you a hand job with the right hand, but lift your wallet with the left.

Oh well. I guess parents may just have to get up a bit earlier to be more accountable to the food that goes into their children's bellies.

All that is required is to have corporations pay their fare share of taxes, which they do not.

AND

Take away inheritance breaks and force elderly to sell their properties to fund the what will mostly be massive palliative care costs.

I've seen estimates of evasion and avoidance loopholes which if closed could net £25Bn, according to lefty types who might have a vested interest in 'bigging up' the number. Let's say it's accurate though. That leaves a mere £95Bn to find to close the Government spending deficit.

It's inevitable we'll be paying more for the same or less, or paying a lot less for less, as we ain't been paying the going rate for the current suite of services on offer for over a decade.

The standard of political discourse in the UK is a joke. The sooner we start having an honest debate about what we are prepared to pay for, and what sort of services we can realistically afford for that, without punting the costs down the line to future generations, the better. Unfortunately it seems on the current course we'll be rearranging deckchairs until the ship hits the seabed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

can someone give us an example of the pension costs of a local council and the drain that is having each year on the finances?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

councisl could also reduce their payroll,although I somehow doubt that a 50% reduction in spending power will be matched by a 50% reduction in the head count.

They could also reduce the salary attached to each position. (Most) local government workers would keep their jobs and taxpayers would continue to receive services. Win-win.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They could also reduce the salary attached to each position. (Most) local government workers would keep their jobs and taxpayers would continue to receive services. Win-win.

I’ve advocated that for years; government workers should have any earnings over £25,000 cut in half.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just learned yesterday that you have to pay for your kids meals in schools in my region.

What. The. F0ck. And hardly any gym equipment, that is gotten through donations and charity. REALLY? What sort of ******ing third world country is England. Please tell me there are good schools where stuff like this is bought by the school, instead of paying various different heads fantasy salaries.

Dear lord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
councisl could also reduce their payroll,although I somehow doubt that a 50% reduction in spending power will be matched by a 50% reduction in the head count.

Because making compulsory redundancies is hard, usually they reduce number by giving people early retirement.

Most long-serving council staff, after retirement, all-in-all, cost little less than they did before.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just learned yesterday that you have to pay for your kids meals in schools in my region.

What. The. F0ck. And hardly any gym equipment, that is gotten through donations and charity. REALLY? What sort of ******ing third world country is England. Please tell me there are good schools where stuff like this is bought by the school, instead of paying various different heads fantasy salaries.

Dear lord.

For some reason people think that religious schools are the answer.

Fine for some I guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

can someone give us an example of the pension costs of a local council and the drain that is having each year on the finances?

Just downloaded pdf from cov city councils website.

It seems to me (and if anyone wants to check this cos it looks extraordinary) that the costs in 2011/2 were as follows

Fund contributions for non-teachers £21.7m

fund contributions for early retirement (non teachers) £5.0m

Fund contributions for teachers £14m

Fund contributions for teachers (early retirement) £2.6m

Increase in deficit for teachers pension £32.7m

So, in a city of 120,000 households, a contribution equivalent to £350 per household is only enough to leave a hole in the finances of a further £275 per household. Just for the pensions. Oh, just realised there is no note on the deficit of non-teachers pensions.

Of course all this is small beer compared to the housing benefit bill of £120m!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just learned yesterday that you have to pay for your kids meals in schools in my region.

What. The. F0ck. And hardly any gym equipment, that is gotten through donations and charity. REALLY? What sort of ******ing third world country is England. Please tell me there are good schools where stuff like this is bought by the school, instead of paying various different heads fantasy salaries.

Dear lord.

When did you not have to pay for school meals?

Certainly as long as I was having them (from primary in the early 90s) the parent paid. Don't know if it covered the whole cost or subsided, but if ever they were free it's not for a long time.

(ETA: Obviously "free school meals" for the poor are a different beast than "paid for school meals" that most kids have the option of)

Edited by bristolhunter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've advocated that for years; government workers should have any earnings over £25,000 cut in half.

what a great idea...dont know why I only mentioned it 5000 times before...:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just learned yesterday that you have to pay for your kids meals in schools in my region.

What. The. F0ck. And hardly any gym equipment, that is gotten through donations and charity. REALLY? What sort of ******ing third world country is England. Please tell me there are good schools where stuff like this is bought by the school, instead of paying various different heads fantasy salaries.

Dear lord.

You'll find that the good schools have pretty active parent-teacher associations and do a lot of fund raising to buy kit with. These parents DO give a shit about their kids rather than expecting the state to do absolutely everything - so the school gets extra equipment and the parents are more likely to show an interest in their kids' education and welfare.

On free school meals, my understanding is that these are chargeable except for the poorest, and these should certainly be maintained as there are unfortunately some kids who would otherwise not get fed properly all day. Nothing new - when I was a kid many moons ago we had a lad called "Skinner" in our class who would eat any left over food going - only food he got all day.

Edited by mikthe20

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just learned yesterday that you have to pay for your kids meals in schools in my region.

You don't have kids I take it? When were school meals ever free? Hmm... iirc from my childhood, we paid weekly. My father used to spend hours decorating elaborate envelopes with "Tom's dinner money" in whatever theme I chose (dinosaurs, underwater, etc.). The teacher was a big fan of them - I wonder if they're still knocking around somewhere? (the teacher kept them)... digression over...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

School dinners were never free but Thatcher took away free milk for the kids at school.

Also scrapped the standards for house building so that today's houses don't have enough garden for kids to play in and windows so small that the light getting into the shoe box sized rooms is minimal.

Result... the return of rickets as a common disease among city and town dwellers.

Oh... maybe that is what she meant by a return to Victorian values.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My school dinners were the bees knees all home cooked on the premises....got them free...the warm smelly milk was something you could do without. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to a comprehensive in the 80's, I had to pay for my school meals and I cannot remember anyone that didn't have to may for them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to a comprehensive in the 80's, I had to pay for my school meals and I cannot remember anyone that didn't have to may for them.

We had a separate queue for free school meal pupils....no shame, not a problem, never discriminated against.

Later on they I think decided that it was best to hide from others the fact that some didn't pay for their meals, so who was to know.... ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen estimates of evasion and avoidance loopholes which if closed could net £25Bn, according to lefty types who might have a vested interest in 'bigging up' the number. Let's say it's accurate though. That leaves a mere £95Bn to find to close the Government spending deficit.

It's inevitable we'll be paying more for the same or less, or paying a lot less for less, as we ain't been paying the going rate for the current suite of services on offer for over a decade.

The standard of political discourse in the UK is a joke. The sooner we start having an honest debate about what we are prepared to pay for, and what sort of services we can realistically afford for that, without punting the costs down the line to future generations, the better. Unfortunately it seems on the current course we'll be rearranging deckchairs until the ship hits the seabed.

25 billion is on the low end.

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/index.php?showtopic=185178&view=findpost&p=909197916

" in 2001-02 excluding oil companies corporation tax from large companies was £21 billion. In 2011-12 it was £11 billion. If the rate of increase of corporation tax receipts was the same from these companies as for SME's they would be paying around £45 billion. Factor in that our economy is dominated even more by large corporations now than in 2001 and the missing amount grows even more. "

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

School dinners were never free but Thatcher took away free milk for the kids at school.

Also scrapped the standards for house building so that today's houses don't have enough garden for kids to play in and windows so small that the light getting into the shoe box sized rooms is minimal.

Result... the return of rickets as a common disease among city and town dwellers.

Oh... maybe that is what she meant by a return to Victorian values.

Actually, Harold Wilson took away free school milk from more children in 1968 than Thatcher did in 1974, but why let the truth get in the way of a good socialist rant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • 243 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.