FN mayor axes free school meals

In May, far-right mayor of town in Vaucluse awarded himself a €1,000-a-month pay rise

26 June 2014

THE FRONT National mayor of Le Pontet, Vaucluse, has axed free school meals in the town, a month after awarding himself a €12,000-a-year pay rise.

Joris Hébrard’s plan, which was passed by the council earlier this week, will affect the families of 65 children in the town and will save the council an estimated €29,000, France Bleu has reported.

Low-income families in the town will pay a reduced rate of €1.57 to help cover the €3.15 cost of a school meal.

“Who doesn’t have €1.57 to pay for a complete and balanced meal?” asked Xavier Magnin, director of the mayor's office.

“We want to empower parents.”

The scheme has outraged Mr Hébrard’s opponents.

The UMP’s Claude Toutain described the council’s decision as “absolutely scandalous” and said it would punish “the most disadvantaged families, single-parents, people on RSA or those coming to the end of unemployment benefit”.

He criticised the mayor for granting himself a €1,000-a-month pay rise in May, saying the amount Mr Hebrard awarded himself would “pay for 500 meals per month”.

He said it was “the duty” of the better off to help those who are in difficulty.

The mayor's office spokesperson defended the decision, saying that the previous UMP council of the town of about 17,000 inhabitants had run up €50m of debt.

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