asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many children in Scottish schools take meals at school; and how many have free meals.
On the day of the census in January 1979, 429,979 pupils in education authority schools took a school meal, of which 142,986 were free of charge.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many schoolchildren in Scotland receive free travel to school.
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what increase in the cost of a school meal he estimates would be required to meet the full economic cost in the present situation where free schools meals are granted in certain circumstances and where free school meals are abolished.
It is estimated that an increase of about 30p in the charge would be needed to meet the economic cost of the school meal at present. If free meals were abolished—and I must ask the hon. Member to await the legislation which will shortly be introduced before speculating about this—the uptake of meals would be substantially reduced and this would lead to an increase in the economic cost of the meal which cannot be quantified; no realistic estimate can therefore be made of the charge that would be needed to meet the economic cost in these circumstances.