PaulBrislen:sleemanj: "I never had such problem, therefore your problem must be of your own doing." is a pretty typical response from people when it comes to socio-economic issues, people have neither the ability nor desire to see the situation from the other side.
But even if we for the sake of argument just say "ok, it's the parents fault", that solves nothing, sure you can teach a man to fish, but if he dies of starvation while you're doing it then YOU have failed miserably, not them.
If providing funded meals in schools means children are better educated, and healthier, then DO IT. No mucking around, no hand wringing, or finger pointing, just do it, why is it even a question.
As for the price, we can't afford not to. I think Campbell Live costed it at $4m a year... can anyone confirm? If so, that's peanuts. That's one dollar each person PER YEAR.
Labour priced it at around $21m I think - but even then we're talking about less than the price of a coffee per person per year at the outside.
This shouldn't even be a discussion, we should just get on and do what all civilised countries do - feed our kids.
Umm, no. There approx. 1.6m tax payers in NZ. So at $4m per year thats a few dollars per person.
And when have Campbells Lives figures been used for calculating anything? On what basis did they arrive at those calculations? And using Labours figures of $21m (which I still wouldn't trust as no Government in opposition ever gets these calculations right) you're talking maybe $15-20 per tax payer per year. Now take out working for families and other tax incentives which see low income families effectively not paying any tax we might be talking $30-50 per year (at a guess - couldn't be bothered working it out as unless you're in government you don't need to be accurate and even then...). But thats not the point.
The point is is that it's not the schools job to fed kids. Its the parents. Make sure they know how. Make sure they're not being frivolous with their money. And then. Only then would I say lets help them feed the kids.