Labour plans to offer ALL primary school pupils in England a place at a breakfast club under £365million plan to help parents funded by bringing back 45p top rate of income tax for the rich

  • Phillipson said the £365million system would help parents with childcare
  • Said it would also improve UK economy as she tore into Tory handing of schools
  • She also confirmed the party’s plans to remove tax breaks for private schools

Labour today unveiled plans to introduce breakfast clubs at every primary school in England paid for by bringing back the 45 per cent income tax band for the richest.

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said the £365million system would help parents with childcare and allow them to help improved the UK economy as she tore into Tory handing of schools.

Ms Phillipson also confirmed the party’s plans to remove tax breaks for private schools if they form the next Government.

Facing delegates on the final day of the party conference in Liverpool she said the major extension of the scheme would be the ‘first step on the road to a modern childcare system’.

Labour has pledged to overturn the Government’s axing of the top income tax rate of 45 per cent on earnings above £150,000.

It has already said it will use over half of the around £2 billion a year saved to train more district nurses, health visitors and midwives.

Labour says the breakfast plans cost £365 million a year, including funding to be sent to the devolved administrations.

Ms Phillipson, the MP for Houghton and Sunderland South, told conference: ‘Breakfast clubs drive up standards and achievement. They improve behaviour, and attendance. Because it’s about the club, as well as the breakfast.

‘They enable parents to work. They give mams and dads choices. And they will help us to build the economy we all need and the society we all want.’

Shadow education secretary Bridget Phillipson said the £365million system would help parents with childcare and allow them to help improved the UK economy as she tore into Tory handing of schools.

Ms Phillipson also confirmed the party’s plans to remove tax breaks for private schools if they form the next Government.

Currently only schools in disadvantaged areas are eligible for the programme, which gets a 75 per cent subsidy from the Government.

A child-poverty charity welcomed the proposal but urged Labour to go further to commit to universal after-school activities as well. 

Child Poverty Action Group chief executive Alison Garnham said: ‘With four million children already in poverty and millions of parents struggling to stay afloat, now is the time to make this happen for families.

‘We hope there is more to come – universal before- and after-school activities for kids of all ages would make a crucial difference.’

Paul Whiteman, general secretary of school leaders’ union NAHT, said: ‘Hunger is a real concern for school staff who regularly see children arriving in the morning without having eaten, and therefore not ready to learn.

‘A positive start to the day and a nutritious breakfast before school for those who need it could make a real difference. If properly funded and resourced this entitlement is something school leaders would support.’

A Government spokeswoman responded: ‘We have expanded access to free school meals more than any other government in recent decades, which currently reach 1.9 million children.

‘We are also investing up to £24 million in our national school breakfast programme, which provides free breakfasts to children in schools in disadvantaged areas.’

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