Press Release – Conservative Party
Recent discussion over the effect of lunchlessness on educational outcomes arising from Auckland University’s research misses the point says Colin Craig, Leader of the Conservative Party.
“The issue is not whether lunchlessness is detrimental to learning. Rather the issue is a parents’ duty to provide for their children,” says Mr Craig.
“Where a child is regularly sent to school without a lunch, the parent is being delinquent. Proposed solutions such as state funding of school lunches, which Bill English says the Government is open to, will only encourage this delinquent behaviour. Such programmes are noble ideas, but end up being another pathway into government dependency, and an ever-growing cost to taxpayers.”
“We recognise that it is entirely inappropriate to encourage other bad behaviours. We don’t encourage people to take illegal drugs, or to drink too much. Instead we recognise the appropriate response is intervention. Intervention holds a person to account and demands a change in behaviour.”
“While free lunches sound appealing” says Mr Craig, “They are actually a way by which the government enables the continuation of delinquent parenting. Such proposals are an unwitting, well meaning, but destructive response.”
“We need to recognise there are no ‘free lunches’. ‘Free lunches’ are a case of responsible New Zealanders picking up the tab for delinquent parents.”
“The proper response to delinquent parents is to charge them the cost of rectifying their bad behaviour. As a country we need to start expecting people to be responsible for themselves and their families. We need to stop a continuation of the culture of entitlement.”