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Is the free milk scheme value for money?

02:10 UK time, Sunday, 8 August 2010

The scheme offering free milk to children under five will not be scrapped, despite earlier government proposals as part of a spending review. What is your reaction?

Downing Street said Prime Minister David Cameron "did not like" the idea of scrapping the free milk scheme.

Ms Milton's letter said there was no evidence that the scheme improved the health of children and that it was too expensive - next year it would cost £59m to run.

But she said that she was considering increasing the value of Healthy Start vouchers, which can be spent on milk or fruit and vegetables, and are given to pregnant women and children under four.

Would scrapping the milk scheme have been an acceptable cost-cutting measure? Should it continue to be universally available? Are Healthy Start vouchers a better investment?

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.


Page 1 of 12

  • Comment number 1.

    I had milk in primary school when I was a child, then the Tories removed the privilege. Then Labour reinstated it for my children, and they are more healthy for it. Why does it that as soon as the Tories get into power they not only affect all the working/lower class but also our children?
    What would they increase the Healthy Start Vouchers by....... 10p?

  • Comment number 2.

    Here go the tories snatching kids' milk again.

  • Comment number 3.

    this is bloody mad, are they joking, What all the mp's need to do is have a giant pay cut, and then let kids keep drinking milk at nursery, or stop giving money to religion as its a pointless thing to do. Also Were giving all this money to pakistan....lets not bother,I dont want my tax money going to them,I know there going through flood and are in a mess but So is alot of Europe, and Russia is in a really bad state after the giant forest fires....were not sending any of them aid, but were sending it to pakistan...lets not give it to pakistan and give it to the schools and to kids for milk.

  • Comment number 4.

    Proof, if it were needed, that Thatcher lives on.

  • Comment number 5.

    Oh tories nicking milk again. my god when will we outlaw this excuse for a party the only thing they have ever done is smash this country into pieces, Sell off almost everything. My god what's next start selling off the people but i think it`s called slavery. Why do we give aid money to India doesn't an Indian company own jaguar, land rover and corus?
    Doesn't India and Pakistan both have nuclear weapons if you can afford that rubbish you can feed your own people.... Maybe then the kids here can have a bottle of milk and enjoy it. Isn't it about time the government of this country looked after its own people?

  • Comment number 6.

    i would like to say that has a mother with 3 children.and receiveing benefits that it is hard to meet everyday needs sometimes and knowing that you have those tokens is one stress less.babies need the milk in order for there development.what are they gonna do without it?its okay for those who have family support cause i suppose they could get funding from those around them.but for those like myself that hasnt got family to turn to in the hour of need what are we meant to do?i propose an idea if willing to listen and that being why dont you just drop the amount down and make it say 4 pints a token this way people are still receiveing there help towards the milk and you as a goverment could save and not have to up the funding that you were going to please accept my appologises if this offends you with my opinion just i feel strongly towards this especially as my son age7 is going to undergo open heart surgery soon and its vital he gets plenty of milk at the moment due to not able to eat.thankyou

  • Comment number 7.

    Over my dead body will they take away free milk.

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm amazed that there are mothers up at this time of night to comment.
    We brought uo 4 children without any "free" milk - they're all successful adults.
    btw, labour removed free milk first, from secondary children, only to be followed by Maggie for primary.

  • Comment number 9.

    The free milk scheme should continue, for some children this is the only proper nourishment they get through out the week, and children need this for their young bones, how stupid is this government getting. how come they are hitting the children once again, and the lower classes, and the cause of obesity is once again caused by the government, you need to go back to the late seventies for this one, in school home economics taught how to cook from scratch, now It's ready made pastry's and tin meats, anything fresh costs an arm and a leg, and kids can't play out because It's too dangerous. why can't we have boot camps, for drug users alcoholics and offenders, take the strain of the NHS and prisons.

  • Comment number 10.

    Surely any child that attends nursery receives food and drink there so why do they need to be provided with free milk at nursery?

    Clearly no human child needs cow's milk - it's designed for calves - and in most of the world children and adults do not have cow's milk. So tokens for fruit and vegetables, yes, but there's no need for free milk.

  • Comment number 11.

    As to Mytimetospeak comment. What world do you live in? Since when has milk not been an essential nutrient. What do you feed your children on? Tofu?? I do not agree with your comment. My child has milk everyday and i feel she benefits from it. I am not totally in agreement with hand outs from the government for milk but if your on benefits or not milk is an important part of Childrens diets.

  • Comment number 12.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 13.

    Like many of you I was raised under the tories I remember having a cup of milk in nursery. This Idea of scrapping the free milk scheme is horrendous I never brought milk as much before I was pregnant but since I got these tokens I have consumed milk more than before what a bad idea Tories good job in losing some of your voters...............

  • Comment number 14.

    As a mother who works i am not able to claim benifits so therefor i am unable to recive any tokens of help towards my childrens health needs. I buy the best i can with what money i have but feel as though this is stil not enough for them. It is a bit of a worry off my back to no my kids recive milk at school free of charge.
    I wish someone would let me no where i am going wrong as i work my husband works yet there is no help for us we just make ends meet now my kids are to suffer even more as part of the budget cut

  • Comment number 15.

    Perhaps they should look at why it costs so much to administer.

    They are quick enough to blame the previous government for wasteful admin so why not fix the problem with costs instead of denying this extra bit of nutrition for toddlers.

    Have they considered the possible knock on costs over many years to the NHS if some children go without vital nutrition in their early years

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    Wasn't this why people came up with that little rhyme “Thatcher, Thatcher, The milk snatcher”?

    I'm beginning to see why some are comparing Cameron to Thatcher.

    Surely it's better to ensure under 5's get some form of healthy food/drink rather than sit back and hope that the parents have the good sense to feed their kids properly.

  • Comment number 18.

    I don't get it how can parents on benefit not afford milk? I'm on benefits with 3 kids, both me and my partner lost our jobs a while back. I can honestly say I have never not had the money for milk, you can buy it cheap enough, £1.10 for 4 pints in Iceland, Tesco is more pricey. My fridge always has milk in it, I can't imagine not having it ever. As for kids having it at school, well I'm in two minds about it. On the one hand, I'd sooner they had a piece of fruit as that is more expensive for me. But on the other hand surely it would be cheaper if it was locally resourced, I don't know. Not that I ever used them but I do think the healthy start is benefitial, certainly for things like powder milk for babies.

    I also agree that if your paying for the internet before making sure your kids are well fed, you need to sort your priorities out and learn to manage your money better. I can certainly manage it.

  • Comment number 19.

    great news its about time govt showing their true plan to eliminate poverty from country kill all poor people specially kids great work mr cameron

  • Comment number 20.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 21.

    Please do not cut the childrens milk it makes the government petty.We all need the best for our children.

  • Comment number 22.

    Within 3 months of coming to power so far the new government has taken away the Child's Trust Fund, axed the new Schools Building Project and now intends to remove the Free Milk.
    Are they mad? No, just following what the previous Tory government did and take away from the poor and give to the rich and should never ever have got back into power.
    How will a certain tabloid readers feel now? Used? They should do afterall they were the ones swayed in the masses by Cameron and Co saying they would do this and that and look after the 'man on the street', what they failed to add was the 'man on the street' was a rich man.
    Cameron, I invite you to come up north if you dare and I'll take you to the many small mining and industrial villages and towns where Thatchers cutting legacy is still felt today, you didn't care them, you don't now!

  • Comment number 23.

    Under fives do not need milk, early use of cows milk in chidrens diets can lead to intolerance, allergies etc. It's quite right that there is no evidence for an improvement in health. If you are all so desperate for your children to grow up to lead a healthy lifestyle then encourage them to get a taste for water, fruit and veg. Calcium and vitamins are freely available in enough quantities in modern foodstuffs. £59m? Stop it immediately.

  • Comment number 24.

    In reply to post 16 by Pixelvision.

    Your idea that leanne80 should give up some luxuries, such as a computer and monthly internet access charges is grossly unfair, she is not saying don't take it away merely don't take it ALL away.
    In this day and age internet access is almost as important as gas, water, electricity as we as a nation have now seen many of our traditional town centres eroded by the growth of the chain stores and the demise of the greengrocers, the buchers etc, places where you could once go and pick up a fresh apple, a few slices of beef so maybe leanne80 like many others have to rely on the net to have her shopping delivered.

  • Comment number 25.

    What's next? Child trust fund, School building projects and now free milk. Maybe we should look more closer and cut the spending power on internal luxuries that the goverment use our money on, such as chauffeur driven cars, crazy salaries, expense claims etc. Why are the goverment sending money abroad when clearly our own Country is in need of it, this way our children and the needed would not have to suffer. It is ironic that the goverment will listen to your needs before election, and once in they do not give a damn!

  • Comment number 26.

    My children have all attended full-time day nursery (private - the only ones who offer long enough hours to work full-time!). They have always been given milk at nursery and I had no idea the nursery management could claim back the money spent on this. I assumed it was covered in the nursery fees. I am not sure how long this has been going on but would guess that there was no money back or reduction in fees passed on to to parents when it was introduced, thus it is possibly a nice additional income to private nursery budgets! Paid for by tax-payers, some of whom are the very working parents paying the nursery fees in the first place.

    Over the years I have seen the milk drink offered change from milk offered in a cup (cheaper and less packaging) to small cartons of milk with straws (expensive - are all these tetrapaks recycled?. Cartons are handed out at snack time (half an hour after breakfast!). While some children drink them, others rarely even take one or will start the carton and not finish it. This is wasteful and expensive but following the link in the article seems to be what the scheme requires in order to claim.

    Timetables are very rigid at most nurseries and if a child doesn't fancy milk at the appointed time, they won't even take a carton or drink it. I have dropped my son off at snack time on numerous occasions and despite encouragement from me and staff, he rarely takes a carton. He would be much more likely to drink it later in the day or in the car at hometime but it has never been made clear that it is 'his' milk entitlement and offered later or to take home. Are the unused cartons thrown away or used in the kitchens or do the nurseries order less milk next day - if so do they adjust their claim or is it standard and based on numbers per session?

    I am not disputing that day nurseries do a great job but why do they get this subsidy that parents are not aware of. And why is the scheme so inflexible that many children do not actually get to consume the benefit that is being paid for on their behalf.

    It would be great if someone from a nursery (private or state) could post their experiences.

  • Comment number 27.

    tell you what lets cut everything for our own people and give it to foreien aid what a joke even robbing the children of our country now thatcher years all over again

  • Comment number 28.

    For heavens sake,it's cheap enough.Get a life !! When I was at school we had free milk but half the kids didn't want it, so there was a lot of waste.In those dark 1940/50's days things were very tight in our family, but my hard working mum and dad always provided for my brother and me.
    If you can't muster up a cup of milk each day for your kids in this benefits rich society, somethings wrong.

  • Comment number 29.

    Beware this Tory infested scheme and look at the hidden implications.Thatcher stole the milk from the kids which crippled the milk delivery service and the milk marketing board that gave a fair price to farmers for their milk, that delivered milk to your door in re cycled glass bottles and it was transfered to the supermarkets in plastic comtainers that we cant re cycle. This benefited the oil industry, the private sector, and most of all the Tory led supermarkets Like Tesco's Remember the wife, MP for Westminster, of the Tesco chairman I believe, who sold off the Westminster graveyards for 5p to a property developer and was found guilty of restricting council acconodation by boarding them up till "suitable " tenants could be found.
    This scheme again will benefit the supermarkets, reduce calcium in our kids and get the poor used to the idea of exchanging vouchers for food. Maggie still lives on the tories like the leopard will never change their spots.

  • Comment number 30.

    Am I correct that people with a drug problem get free drugs,yet a growing child gets there milk removed,what a country this is getting,we seam to be getting it all wrong,I wonder how long this government will last,not long I hope.

  • Comment number 31.

    As a lapsed Conservative voter, I will be writing to my MP. For goodness sakes they are keen to bash children. A healthy degree of cynicism but cutting milk and things like local Sure Start funding is really kicking the future generations. No doubt they will be rushing to fund personal care for old dears though. One section is the future but cant vote; the other the past and can.

    This is a sad and twisted policy when they could easily scrap nuclear-weapons carrying submarines!

  • Comment number 32.

    First they say there is to be a rise in VAT and then there is a move to cut free milk. The poor on fixed incomes, pensioners and the disabled are clearly going to be worse off under this government. We know that we need to pull in our belts but why is it that the poor and the children have to tighten theirs the most?

  • Comment number 33.

    Erm... where have all those people that used to be on HYS gone? You know, the ones who would continually moan about New Labour? I would have thought they would have flooded the boards with just how great the Tory government is doing, aggressively making cuts to deprive people of council housing, or a bit of milk to save a frankly piffling £59 million (the Cabinet is collectively has more than that in personal assets), and so on. Odd.

  • Comment number 34.

    Quite simply disgraceful. Instead they should remove the ability for MP's to claim any expenses! I wonder how much MP's claim for food and drinks or what they get free. Maybe making them pay for that would save us much more money!

  • Comment number 35.

    This scheme should not be cut. This is a government who, as Oscar Wilde put it, know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

  • Comment number 36.

    33. At 06:53am on 08 Aug 2010, Paul wrote:
    Erm... where have all those people that used to be on HYS gone? You know, the ones who would continually moan about New Labour? I would have thought they would have flooded the boards with just how great the Tory government is doing, aggressively making cuts to deprive people of council housing, or a bit of milk to save a frankly piffling £59 million (the Cabinet is collectively has more than that in personal assets), and so on. Odd.
    It's because of the appalling financial mess left by New Labour that these cuts have to be made. In my view the Labour people responsible should be behind bars.

  • Comment number 37.

    I had milk as a child in the early 50's. Then, it was necessary as poor diet after War years & rationing still on. It is not necessary now for children to be given milk at school or nursery. EDUCATE younger Mums to feed babies & children a proper diet .......NOT Mc D's & all rubbish. BETTER IDEA.

  • Comment number 38.

    Fresh milk costs 70p for 2 litres where i live. How dare you be so lazy, you can't be bothered to buy milk for your own children. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure they get everything they need, after all.

  • Comment number 39.

    I see no problem with this. Milk is a dubious blessing and I can recall that when i was at school it was never drunk. We preferred going out to play. It did us no harm at all.

  • Comment number 40.

    Agree with aionsleep. Milk is a very inexpensive product...parents should provide it anyway! It seems a reasonable cost cutting measure to me. If it goes I don't think anyone will suffer.

  • Comment number 41.

    May be the government should stop the free everything. That would enable the tax paid to be cut as most of the free everything costs due to the bureaucracy of government most things cost ywice as much to provide compared to private industry and shops. Of course the Labour government never considered the overall cost of anything which is why the government finances are it pitiable state they are in with the largest chunk of tax money goiung to feed the debt left.

    May be all those who voted Labour should think that every vote for Labour is a vote for more cuts when next a sensible government takes office. It happened in the 50's, it happened in the late 70's and it has happened, and more devestatingly, now.

  • Comment number 42.

    Margaret Thatcher stole my school milk when I was a child, and this is just more nastiness from the Political Party without a soul.

  • Comment number 43.

    ...if true there's NO MONEY, the country cannot keep giving away LIKE AS IF THERE IS NO TOMORROW !!! ...then, perhaps give just to the very needy ones... When are people going to learn ??? I wonder !!!

  • Comment number 44.

    Free milk was brought in after the war to ensure children had some calcium & vitamins, along with cod liver oil and orange juice. However, in this modern world there are enough choices out their for children to get all their vitamins, calcium etc. Some here are complaining about this withdrawal, but I see lots of so called poor kids pumping down canned drinks and crisps instead of milk and, say, an apple so it's not about the money.

    It's parental education not free milk that's required. It's all part of the bad health/obesity/lifestyle of the uneducated.

  • Comment number 45.

    Can't wait to get the damn Tories out of Government- will NEVER vote for them ever again.. They are still the same party with the same old kill all policies.
    At least now the latest generation who voted them in have experienced first hand what it is like under a Conservative Party. Labour with a fresh head "Honcho" sounds very appealing right about now......

  • Comment number 46.

    Cow milk is meant for calves not humans.It is a fact that the cow's milk a country drinks, the more osteoporosis and breast cancer there is in that country. Countries that don't consume cow's milk don't have these problems. Cow's milk is not fit for human consumption. Don't belive the markets who spend billions trying to convince you otherwise.

  • Comment number 47.

    The milk is not 'free of charge' it's paid for by taxpayers. It isn't an essential thing but a luxury. If parents feel as though their kid needs milk they can pay for it and give them a bowl of corn flakes at breakfast time.

    Frankly I'm tired of paying for everyone elses stuff, for all but the *most* vulnerable in society.

  • Comment number 48.

    Everyone is slagging the concervatives off, but you voted them in and now your paying for it. I mean everyone forgotten the poll tax and all the other scandals that happened almost every week when they were in power last, it seems that most people have short term memory loss.

    All I will say is tough!!

  • Comment number 49.

    Oh come on , every thing this gov has to do will be met with "oh my god look what the Tories are doing now" I just wonder what the Labour party would be doing ? it was after all them that emptied the pot , or are we all forgetting we are skint , we are over crowded a failed multinational society , and the target of half the world claiming benifits from us , if we stopped that maybe they could have a biscuit with the milk : on the other hand if the politicians took a pay cut that may help and stop the subsidies westminster .

  • Comment number 50.

    Thatcher the Milk Snatcher rules OK.

    It just shows a leopard can never change its spots and tories will always target the vunerable.

    37. At 07:01am on 08 Aug 2010, Sue wrote:
    I had milk as a child in the early 50's. Then, it was necessary as poor diet after War years & rationing still on.
    Sorry Sue if you listen to nutitionalists our diet was healthier under rationing and if you listen to your own arguement you would realise it would be better for children to get something better that burgers. It would almost seem you resent people getting what you got even when we were struggling with the massive debt of the second world war.
    I would prefer to see MPs subsidised meals and drinks at parliament along with their expenses cut before they start targeting children.

  • Comment number 51.

    I see the looney left have infiltrated page one with some success!

    To answer a few "points" already made:

    "Free" milk aparrently cost £59,000,000 per year, what do you want Teachers, Police or "free milk"?

    Yes the government is responsible for obese people, but remember it's Nu Labour that were in power for the last 13 years that oversaw this increase in public obesity - whilst giving kids "free" milk.

    And what exactly is this "working class" that will as always lose out? I guess the group who you are really talking about are the "lazy" class who do nothing all day but claim benefits, well they can choose between their Sky TV subsrciption, fags or "free" milk depending on which they think will benefit their kids more.

    Wise up! No one is falling for your socialist rubbish anymore.

  • Comment number 52.

    It should be for parents to care for their children.Please tell me why on Radio 5 the presenter was trying to coerce a so called expert into condeming the Government for this action??

  • Comment number 53.

    Vote Labour Next Time!!!

    You know it makes sense!!

    Think what October will bring.

    Camarom following Thatcher "The Milk Snatcher"'s policies as expected.

  • Comment number 54.

    45. At 07:31am on 08 Aug 2010, terrimcfly wrote:
    Can't wait to get the damn Tories out of Government- will NEVER vote for them ever again.. They are still the same party with the same old kill all policies.
    At least now the latest generation who voted them in have experienced first hand what it is like under a Conservative Party. Labour with a fresh head "Honcho" sounds very appealing right about now......

    You're joking right?

    You never voted Tory in your life.

  • Comment number 55.

    This team of idiots should cut their pay and use this revenue to support the continuation of free milk. What an absolute shower this mob are.

    A further thought why dont they get the banks to pay for free milk for children and get them to contribute to the well being of our youngsters instead of destroying economies through greed and indifference.

    They should all hang their heads in shame.

  • Comment number 56.

    Are Healthy Start vouchers a better investment?

    No. What is the point of saving money on scrapping milk and then spendig it on stupid vouchers. When will people in this country realise that the only job of government should be to Maintain Law and Order, defence of the realm, pave the roads, educate our children and provide basic healthcare.

  • Comment number 57.

    36. At 06:59am on 08 Aug 2010, David wrote:

    It's because of the appalling financial mess left by New Labour that these cuts have to be made. In my view the Labour people responsible should be behind bars.


    But perhaps the government could sell off their massive wine stocks to pay for this?? To you and I £59M is a lots of money, but in the grand scheme of things it is not. Do not prejudice the future of the nation for this triffling amount.

    Clearly a lot of people in this country do not appreciate how little money some people have. 70p for milk may not seem much, but it is lot of money to someone who is only just breaking even. And presumably you get that from a large supermarket rather than the local corner shop that many have to rely upon.

    I would also like to endorse Reddun's (35) comment about cost and value, how very true.

    And MART (34) I wondered why MP's could claim food and drink at the time of the expenses claim fiasco. Do MP's need to eat more when they are away from home, or do they just choose to be greedy at the tax-payers expense? Or are they so frugal that they only eat when on parliamentary business?

  • Comment number 58.

    Oh it'll be another instance of the poor having everything and those with a little money being hammered again by having it taken away from them.

  • Comment number 59.

    This seems like a typical Tory penny wise, pound foolish measure. Calcium and protein in milk are essential for healthy child development. If it is withdrawn we can expect more sickly people and a greater cost to the NHS later on. Maggie Thatcher's (the milk snatcher) legacy lives on!

  • Comment number 60.

    David Message 36

    Its because of the appalling financial mess left by New Labour that these cuts have to be made. In my view the Labour people responsible should be behind bars.


    As it is becoming clearer and clearer that the Labour strategy is proving to be correct, IE the improvement of the financial condition of this country, as predicted. the forgemasters loan that was recinded Not because of lack of money but because of lobbying by a Tory MP with vested interest opponent of forgemasters. Etc Etc that the swinging cuts placed on the poorer population of this country is not only unnecessary but Idealogically only correct for the Tories and the other scavanging ilk that exploite tax loophole evasion scams. no definate bank bonus cuts , the ones that created this mess not labour, the banks now making millions if not billions of £££ profit that I hasten to add was only possible by Labours insistance to bail them out. Tell me my little Tory "friend" How much glory will be heaped on Labour by the Tories when the shares that the govt own in the banks are sold and result in money entering the govt coffers by the lorry load or will it be akin to your friendly american colleuges who take all the glory by stepping in after all the hard decisions are taken declaring how good you are.

  • Comment number 61.

    I am shocked to learn that free milk is still being provided to any children. What a complete waste of money.

  • Comment number 62.

    I do feel that the Tory Government is going out of its way to reduce the benefits of future children. Since they have come into power they have stated they wish to abolish the SureStart Scheme in some areas, child tax credits and now the milk for under 5's.

    I found the SureStart centre near me invaluable to me and my under 1 - there is always someone to give advice and people to chat to. It would be a genuine pity to loose such a resource in our community.

    With regards to the milk there are so many health benefits and with child obesity on the rise - you'd think that perhaps that would be the focus.

    Despite the recession - we really can't afford to take benefits away from our future generation - cuts need to be considered elsewhere. Perhaps in the back-office like the Tories manifesto originally stated - not front line staff and children....

  • Comment number 63.

    Why not scrap it, the parents are responsible for feeding the kids they choose to have , not the government. The free milk is in a lot of cases a subsidy on drugs and alchohol , because the free milk means less spent on the kids and more to spend on booze.

  • Comment number 64.

    At the Time when milk was first given to school children ,it was consider to be one of the best options to improve the general health of young children.Since then, the health Benefits of "Cow's milk" has slipped down the league table .Indeed it now could be argued that cow's milk is far from the best option to provided essential vitamins and minerals etc: and should therefore now be replaced or reduced in a well balanced diet.

    The days of the uncontrolled intake of milk into our diet has gone.

    Just how many households solely drink full fat milk or eat butter and full fat cheese? Most families have introduced the more healthier vegetable fats,such as sunflower oil. Yet thee are still people insisting that we pour "Animal fats" down children throats at school.

    There is a place for milk within children's diet BUT not tat the level were the government need to provided it daily to school children

  • Comment number 65.

    "Think of the children...Think of the children..." they cry.
    My reply is did you think of the children before you had them? Why have children that you expect the government to nourish? If you cannot afford to provide your children with what you deem as basic nourishment (I acknowledge earlier points that milk is not an essential nutrient), why have you had children?
    And no I am not anti-children. I love children and would love to have at least one with my husband but unfortunately, due to financial issues we have decided to hold off until we can afford them (and before you ask, we both do not receive any benefits and I work; guess who's paying for your milk).
    Do not bring into the world a responsibility that you expect the government and public (after all that is where the money comes from) to burden.

  • Comment number 66.

    No this scheme should not be cut, not yet anyway! I think that many other more realistic cuts could be made - IE less money spent on protecting criminals with new identities, less money for foreign countries when ours is in need. The way I view this is that our government has their priorities mixed up and they are targeting our children. Our children can't argue back with the government or get there comments across - as their parents we need to speak for them, they are the future generation and at this rate our government are going to ruin it for them!!!! Watch out they'll stop the free fruit and veg next.......

    It is not only the children that are losing out if they cut the milk...what about the dairy farmers, what about any scheme administration staff...what about delivery drivers who deliver the milk to the schools..I wonder how many more people will lose their jobs as a result of this governments pathetic actions.....

  • Comment number 67.

    If the healthy start vouchers are providing free milk along with fruit and veg why do we need another free milk scheme?

    I do wish parents would realise that they have a responsibility to buy milk for their own children, that would be much more healthy for everyone.

  • Comment number 68.

    This is a typical move of the Conservatives
    Maggie Tatcher did this when she was PM and ever since Governments have been saying we must look after our childrens heslth
    This is one way that the youngsters GET looked after
    Now they come out with this stupid idea
    Just how much money would they save as against what THEY waste on other thngs
    Cameron is NO better than the last government

  • Comment number 69.

    Why do some demand the taxpayer feed their children?
    Surely as loving parents they should assume personal responsibilty for this themselves.

  • Comment number 70.

    Feeding cows' milk to infants and young children is a major contributory factor to the development of allergies and asthma, among other medical conditions, and also plays a significant part in the epidemic of rheumatoid arthritis that affects so many people in later life.

    There are better and healthier ways of ensuring that a child's diet contains sufficient calcium and vitamins.

    Steve Boulding, Vegan Society

  • Comment number 71.

    While I can understand the anguish of people who want the free milk provision to continue, I don't think there are any parents who can't afford a few pence a day to provide milk for their children, rather than expecting the governemnt to provide a high percentage of meals. They may begrudge paying for milk out of their pockets, but I wonder how they feel about paying for alcohol, cigarettes and takeaways, or do they expect the government to pay for these?

  • Comment number 72.

    At a time when we are all being asked to accept massive cuts in public spending, I have to wonder how this (or any) government can consider cutting essentials like free milk, but "ring-fences" or even increase foreign aid expenditure.

    If individuals wish to give their money to charity that's fine, but the government takes our money through taxation and is supposed to use that for running our country, for ALL OF US.

  • Comment number 73.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 74.

    Evil milk snatching Torys up to their old tricks again. This is one thing they should leave alone. How about a 50% pay cut for all MP'S that will help with the deficit.
    For a party with no mandate and a government who did not win the election there behaving like a dictatorship. Look out come the next election for the peoples reaction.

  • Comment number 75.

    I am so disappointed in this Coalition government. I have voted Conservative all my life, and had high hopes for it.
    Now talking about scrapping school milk? why aren`t they leading by example? why aren`t they stopping their own "free" meals/drinks and jollies in general? don`t they get subsidised meals etc? cheap drinks of tea and alcohol? and they talk about scrapping milk to the kids!

    Shame on EVERYONe of them.

  • Comment number 76.

    Careless Coalition Cameron , demonstrates with this policy they havent changed, remember Maggie Thatcher the "MILK SNATCHER"

    Camerons true colours will out... if you want to find out whats next of the list of things to do read the TORY 70's manifestos

  • Comment number 77.

    I think we need to address this misconception that cow's milk is a natural, essential foodstuff. It's not. It's meant for calves, not humans.

    Aside from the animal welfare issues, cow's milk contributes to obesity, food intolerance and other (serious) ailments in humans.

    Removing free milk from schools will undoubtedly help children's development, not harm it.

  • Comment number 78.

    I calculate that if an adult reduced their cancer stick consumption by one packet of 20 per week, they could afford to buy 10 - 15 pints of extra milk per week.
    This Labour opposition hand-wringing just makes me laugh. Children have never been so obese as they were when Labour were in government.

  • Comment number 79.

    Steveboulding...would you care to provide the medical studies that back up your statement? I mean proper ones though....hehehe

  • Comment number 80.

    i cant believe this has become a rant against people on the internet for everyone's information i didn't get the internet till my daughter turned 6 three years later i had a surprise i was pregnant (my husband was told he couldn't have any more kids) then we had a shock recession and injury meant my husband hasn't been in work much lately i need to keep the internet going for my daughters education we live rural so i need it for shopping as what i would spend on the bus a month getting my shopping is easily more than the internet costs so yes we do need to keep the free milk going kids being raised by bad parents mean they don't get much milk at home i would say its more important now than ever and milk has nothing to do with obesity it is not very fattening its the poor food that you feed children that does the damage not the milk i would say the government can save money elsewhere and stop hitting poor people and children why they were voted in i don't know you knew what he would do hit the most vulnerable people the poor the unemployed the sick the children and the old stop moaning unless you are prepared to vote properly the next time we are stuck with him for the next ten years or more unless the queen intervenes (which she can do) and forces a new election i for one wish she would we are moving house soon we hope to an area with work in it (we hope) and my daughter will be going to a school with temporary classrooms because they went to a two tier education system to cut long term costs they were promised new buildings they wont get them now and they are all squeezed in like sardines and cramped in a playground while the site they should be having is left to rot they now have to get rid of t/a's (not needed in a class of 33!) and swimming (two year groups only why? we pay for it) forest school its all going parents are encouraged to help out (for free) but as they are a product of thatcher education they cant help much so all i can say is i want ANOTHER GENERAL ELECTION this guy (s) an IDIOT a RICH BOY and he attacks the part of society that needs help the most while protecting himself and his friends and family my husband and i would work today if we could unfortunately the government cuts mean there are no jobs up here so we are moving for the second time in two years free milk is the least of our problems

  • Comment number 81.

    This is just another level of respect that the "Boy David" wishes to impose on Holyrood, like all the other levels of respect that he has been dishing out since arriving at No 10.

    Rewriting history was a cardinal sin, the very fact that with his so-called education he should make that appalling error is unforgivable, and to now wish to impose the withdrawal of milk to the next generation is likewise.

    We are supposed to learn from history it appears that a number of the contributors cant even do that either.

    Still another Tory scenario is slowly about to come to fruition by neglect, by “the Boy David” and his equally thick assistants from the “Public School” background that are currently in power at Westminster.

    I give you a toast to “Scotch on the Rocks”

  • Comment number 82.

    Labour were the first to abolish milk!!!!
    If you can't even afford to provide your child with something as cheap as milk, it was very foolhardy, and selfish to be having children in the first place.
    Why do so many people think its the responsibility of the government (employed by the taxpayer) to provide all their needs.???
    With parenthood comes RESPONSIBILITIES, YOURS!!!!!!

  • Comment number 83.

    Of course there is no evidence of the benefit of the free milk scheme as all children qualify, therefore there is no group who do not receive it with whom to compare. If the government is serious about cutting spending, then let us hear from them how much they are cutting from our contributions to the EU. Here at least, there is clear evidence of waste of resources, failure to audit, corruption, and little if any benefit. The coaliyion should concentrate on real areas of waste to find their cuts, not gamble with the health of our children.

  • Comment number 84.

    59. At 07:51am on 08 Aug 2010, Del_Herts wrote:
    This seems like a typical Tory penny wise, pound foolish measure. Calcium and protein in milk are essential for healthy child development. If it is withdrawn we can expect more sickly people and a greater cost to the NHS later on. Maggie Thatcher's (the milk snatcher) legacy lives on!


    Really, honestly? You think removing free milk from under 5's at nursery and preschool is going to create an entire generation of sick people? A bit extreme isn't it. I didn't even know my 2 year old would get free milk at nursery when she starts, and she certainly doesn't need anything from anyone else as I provide for her.

    Mind you I think the new government has shot itself in the foot with this idea, for no other reason than it's given all you Labour supporters a drum to bang due to the connotations of Thatcher the milk snatcher (1974). It's a PR disaster solely due to this, because it reawakens the past, NOT because it's a bad idea. Labour gave far too many handouts to far too many people regardless of whether they needed them and bankrupted the country. I don't need free milk for my children, and I suspect neither do most people.

  • Comment number 85.

    In a time of cutbacks, free milk should be targeted at those in need rather than every child. If the health reports are to be believed the problem in the UK today is that kids are getting too much to eat, not too little.

  • Comment number 86.

    Every week our new government comes up with new ways of trying to save money when they should be looking at the real reason we are in debt in the first place, the banks irresponsible lending and years of patting themselves on the back for it. Why should we have to suffer because of them? Thanks to the new government, next year I will be working for nothing but to pay tax, ni and childcare thanks to the changes in tax credits. They want me to work but effectively forcing me out of work and work in the public sector which makes it even worse. The sooner this government fails the better.

  • Comment number 87.

    What a ridiculously petty thing to do, the government are just in a cutting frenzy. Rather than cutting the scheme perhaps the government should look at why it costs so much to run. If they want to raise £59 million maybe they could sell some assets, like 'um the small number of shares we all bought in RBS, HBOS, Lloyds etc

  • Comment number 88.

    There is quite a lot of evidence that would indicate that milk doesn't do us much good. Read T. Colin Campbell's book "The China Study" and ask yourself, why is it that a country that apparently drinks more milk than most other countries should have one of the highest rates of osteoporosis if milk is good for your bones?

  • Comment number 89.

    Once again David Cameron shows 'Respect' for Scotland. He managed to find a loophole so that the 'milksnatchers' policy extends to Scotland too(Health in general, is a devolved issue in Scotland).

  • Comment number 90.

    This is like stealing from children! How much lower can the condems go?

  • Comment number 91.

    this is appalling, surely the libdems didn't sign up to this in the coalition agreement. The very poor will suffer most, not what I would describe as a very equal society!! Come Lib Dems stand up to these Tory bullies!!

  • Comment number 92.

    The proposal to scrap free milk for children under five is not humane and disagrees with the Christian priciples in accordance with which everyone should treat children well. It cannot but make one think that the government hates children - a kind of attitude that is difficult to explain by reason. I can only add that this government's ungenerous stragegy in dealing with various problems (especially, economic ones) really makes me discouraged and frustrated. I do not intend to conceal the fact that I expected from it something better than from the previous one, but I was mistaken, as it seems.

  • Comment number 93.

    This coalition makes me sick. The Tories and Liberals are exactly the same. I read this and at the same time reported on the news are the huge profits banks are making, dishing out bonuses, utility companies making millions. The rich get richer and we get poorer for it. Anyone who voted for this unethical government is guilty of gross misconduct and betrayal. What I hate about the Tories is the fact they punish and blame the working class for all the problems, and worse they do it with relish, they love every minute of it. Cameron during the election played the caring about our kid’s card, what a sick joker he is. Given all the gaffs he has come out with since elected isn’t it obvious he was just saying whatever it took to get power, another megalomaniac with a sidekick of psychotic whipping boys desperate for celebrity recognition.

  • Comment number 94.

    I appreciate that cuts have to be made but I feel this is totally the wrong move.Every child no matter their background benefits from this scheme. It seems to me that normal hard working people are again going to suffer!!!

  • Comment number 95.

    I was really grateful when Maggie stopped the milk when I was a child. In the summer crates sat outside and we were forced to drink, hot, nearly rancid liquid. I haven't touched milk since!

    Since Tony & Gordon nearly bankrupted the country, we have to save wherever we can.

  • Comment number 96.

    78. At 08:20am on 08 Aug 2010, David Thomas wrote:

    I calculate that if an adult reduced their cancer stick consumption by one packet of 20 per week, they could afford to buy 10 - 15 pints of extra milk per week.
    This Labour opposition hand-wringing just makes me laugh. Children have never been so obese as they were when Labour were in government.

    = = = = = = = =

    A bit difficult if you can't afford to smoke isn't it?

    Obesity is often caused by eating CHEAP HIGH FAT food because they can't afford expensive food. This because so much more money goes on paying the rent or mortgage .

    The Tories drove up the prices of rents and houses by their policies.

    Tory policies particularly CON-DEM policies make me sick.

  • Comment number 97.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 98.

    Good old tories, bankers get fat again, while they take milk from little children

  • Comment number 99.

    Why so many people moaning, if i remember correctly there was so much support for the Tories not so long ago,so please all of you that voted for them keep quite.

  • Comment number 100.

    Great news - cows milk is not a suitable food for regular consumption by humans, and the sooner we stop giving it to children the better health they will enjoy, and the healthier our society will be long-term.
    I expect noone would willingly drink milk or give it to their children if
    they knew that there are legal limits with regard to the levels of pus and blood it can contain.


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