Theresa May rejects ‘milk snatcher’ jibe in row over nursery scheme

Posted On: 
24th July 2018

Theresa May has hit back after being labelled a “milk snatcher” over plans to divert cash for nurseries to a new healthy foods scheme.

Theresa May during a factory visit yesterday

The Times reported this morning that the Government is considering redirecting cash from a nursery milk scheme to pay for healthy food vouchers for low-income parents.

But Downing Street insisted "no child who received milk in this scheme will have it taken away".

Blow for Government as free schools 'failing in parent-led purpose'

Councils attack ministers over need to ‘raid state school funding to support special needs children’

Grammar schools given controversial £50m expansion fund

The new initiative described by the paper would provide vouchers for fruit and vegetables for pregnant, low-income women.

As part of the consultation, ministers are considering capping the amount that nurseries can claim back as part of long-established scheme that provides pupils with a third of a pint of milk free each day, it said.

Labour branded the Prime Minister a “milk snatcher” - in reference to a similar policy pursued by ex-Tory leader Margaret Thatcher.  

But Number Ten hit back today, describing the reported framing of the plans as “wrong”.

A spokeperson for the Prime Minister said: “What is actually happening is that there is a consultation about healthy start vouchers and as part of that there’s a consultation on capping the amount nurseries can charge for milk, which is a slightly different thing.

“But I think it’s really important to say that no child who received milk in this scheme will have it taken away.”

A Labour spokeswoman had said: “Theresa May is copying from the Thatcher milk snatcher playbook. Low-income families deserve support but it should be big businesses and the super-rich who pay for it, not nursery children.”

A senior Tory MP had also expressed concern over the plan, saying it would be “fairly toxic, however it’s dressed up”.