Alba Party Call for £40 Scottish Child Payment and Free School Meals for all in Scotland
Alba have made the call as First Minister Humza Yousaf today unveils his programme for Government.
Alba Party have called on Humza Yousaf to announce as part of his Programme for Government an increase to the Scottish Child Payment from £25 to £40 and for free school meals for all primary and secondary school children this year.
Alba say that an increase in the Scottish Child Payment to £40 is necessary to lift 30,000 children out of poverty but due to high inflation if the payment does not increase then many families who receive it will face a real-terms cut.
Alex Salmond’s party also want the Scottish Government to honour its commitment to fund free school meals for all primary school children as well as extending the policy to all high school pupils. Alba say that “ funding free school meals for all primary school children is a commitment long past the point that it must be honoured but, as the cost of the school day becomes even more expensive in High School the Scottish Government must extend free school meals to secondary school pupils.”
Alba figures say that free school meals would save a family £400 per year per child which as well as ensuring every school pupil has access to a good meal each day would also help protect household budgets. They also want to see the Scottish Government write of school meal debt for over 20,000 pupils as part of the rollout of universal provision.
Commenting Alba Party General Secretary Chris McEleny said:
“The levels of child poverty in Scotland are a national scandal. Scotland is an energy-rich land. Across the North Sea, Norway is one of the world’s richest countries but in Scotland 1 in 4 children are living in poverty. Research from the Trussell Trust and The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) shows that if ALBA’s £40 a week child payment policy was introduced it would lift a further 30,000 children out of poverty.
“The Scottish Government must use the limited powers that it has to ensure that eradicating child poverty has the resources put towards accomplishing.
“As a result of high inflation, the Scottish Child Payment faces a real terms cut, it must be increased to £40 to lift children out of poverty. It is also time for the Scottish Government to finally fund its commitment to free school meals, but they must go further and extend this policy to all secondary pupils also. The fact that over 20,000 pupils in Scotland are in debt over school meals shows that universal provision is an urgent must.”