Top Tories back bid to use sugar tax on 'holiday hunger' clubs

Posted On: 
11th January 2018

High-profile Tory MPs have joined forces with Labour in calling for Theresa May to use the sugar tax to feed hungry kids during the school holidays.

School 3 million kids are thought to miss out on lunch during the holidays
Credit: 
PA Images

Graham Brady, chair of the 1922 committee of backbench Tories, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nicholas Soames and Nicky Morgan have teamed up with Labour ex-frontbencher Frank Field in the campaign.

They want the Prime Minister to “seriously” consider using £40m raised by the Soft Drinks Levy to set up school holiday meal clubs for children who would otherwise be starving.

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About 14% of primary kids get free school meals during term time but Mr Field says as many as three million miss out on lunch during the holidays.

Sir Graham told the Sun: “It would be shame for the levy on sugary drinks just to disappear into the broader Government pot of taxation.

“If some of the revenue can be used to give children a nutritious meal in the school holidays then it has to be worthwhile.”

And former education secretary Ms Morgan added: “Hunger stops children learning and doing well. I urge Theresa May to look seriously at this bill.

“If she’s serious about repositioning our party to tackle the burning injustices she’s talked about then this has to be a vital first step.”

They are among 16 Tories who alongside some 115 other MPs have backed the School Holidays (Meals and Activities) Bill which Mr Field will present to the Commons next Friday.

Mr Field told the paper: “The PM has it in her power to take the first step to confine child hunger to the history books.”