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Corbyn promises free primary school meals

Corbyn promised for free primary school meals

Mr Corbyn is proposing to cover the cost by introducing VAT on private school fees.

Labour says this would improve the health of many young children at the expense of "ending a subsidy to the privileged few". But the Independent Schools Council said the "sums do not add up" for the proposed charge on private schools. All state school educated pupils in the first three years of primary school already receive free meals, under a scheme introduced by the coalition government. But Mr Corbyn and shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, visiting a children's holiday club in Lancashire on Thursday, are going to propose extending it to all primary pupils.

Labour says House of Commons Library figures suggest this would cost £700m to £900m. Mr Corbyn says that the price should be paid by parents who send their children to private school - and Labour quotes an estimate from the Fabian Society that VAT on private school fees could raise about £1.5bn per year. "No child in the UK should go hungry at school. By charging VAT on private schools fees, Labour will make sure all primary school children, no matter what their background, get a healthy meal at school," the Labour leader will say.