Sunday, 8 August 2010

Ann Milton was not speaking for government on free milk

Downing Street has made clear that Health Minister Ann Milton is the latest government minister to join the list of those not speaking for the Coalition government's policy in the case of her letter to the Scottish government advising that the Coalition planned to scrap free nursery milk.

TV news channels were grateful for an August opportunity to broadcast some "Margaret Thatcher Milk Snatcher" footage from 1971.

And now the proposal has been quashed after a bad morning's coverage.

"Coalition u-turns are impressive to behold", blogs Ben Brogan, noting that this strengthens the impression of headline-based policymaking.

Health Minister Ann Milton wrote to Scottish Public Health Minister Shona Robison setting out the case for abolishing the scheme, writing that:

"Abolition of the scheme is likely to be highly controversial, particularly as this will affect some children in low-income families."

But Ms Milton said: "This should not prevent us from ending an ineffective universal measure - and this would clearly be the best time to do it, given the state of public finances and the need to make savings."


Mr Andy C said...

The most ridiculous statement from Milton to justify the cut was by stating there was no evidence the scheme improved health.

13eastie said...

Whereas your statement above is brimming over with supporting data...

Chris said...

This should be a very simple thing to resolve (I'm assuing there's no debate on whether it's healthy for kids to drink milk). Let the government publish the evidence that showed the scheme not being best value for money and the alternative evidence used to put the kibosh on scrapping it, and let the public decide.

In the meanwhile, perhaps Cameron needs to read that letter he wrote.