Wales Online is reporting that a controversial “sandwich tax” on school packed lunches is set to go ahead, despite furious criticism from parents.
Caerphilly council has been blasted for proposing to charge every primary school in the borough around £2,200 a year for the clear-up and disposing of waste from pupils eating their own sandwiches.
Despite assurances from the local authority, parents have raised concerns over the possibility that schools could ban packed lunches as a result, or even impose a charge on children refusing school meals.
Plaid Cymru’s leader on Caerphilly council Colin Mann has condemned a decision from the council to press ahead with plans – which will now come into effect from September rather than April, as originally proposed…
“We again call on Labour to scrap the sandwich tax and meet the costs of setting up tables and clearing up after pupils have eaten centrally.
“They should stop squeezing our primary schools.”
Caerphilly council said it did not intend the charge to be passed on to parents.
But writing in an impact assessment report, council officers said: “Schools may choose to make their own arrangements for setting out and clearing away sandwich places, in which case the catering service will be able to reduce staffing hours and still realise the saving identified.
“This proposal could lead to pupils losing the option of bringing sandwiches meals to school and have the potential to increase school lunch take-up.”
Caerphilly council cabinet member for education Rhianon Passmore has accused Plaid of “scaremongering”…
Councillor Passmore refuted suggestions schools were being taxed and said there was no obligation on head teachers to pay for the clearing of sandwiches…
It seems there are a few different issues rolled up here:
Is it reasonable for the council to start charging schools extra for the clearing up of packed lunch places?
If so, would it then be reasonable for schools to pass on those costs by charging parents if their children bring a packed lunch?
Or might schools even be justified in stopping packed lunches to avoid the cost in the first place?
Your thoughts, feedback and reactions?
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