Alba Party Call for £40 Child Payment and Free School Meals for all in New Year
Alba have made the call as 1 in 4 children will start 2023 living in poverty.
Alba Party have called for the Scottish Child Payment to be increased to £40 and for free school meals for all primary and secondary school children this year.
Their call comes as Scotland enters another new year in which more children are set to be driven into poverty as a result of the ongoing cost of living crisis.
Alba say that an increase in the Scottish Child Payment to £40 is necessary to lift children out of poverty but due to record high inflation if the payment does not increase then many families who receive it will have 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 £340 per year which as well as ensuring every child has access to a good meal each day would also help protect household budgets.
Commenting Alba Party Depute General Secretary Corri Wilson 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.
“The Scottish Government must use the limited powers that it has to ensure that this year eradicating child poverty isn’t just a slogan but it is something the Government put resources towards accomplishing.
“As part of the final budget deal that is approaching we need to see real action on poverty. As a result of spiralling inflation, the Scottish Child Payment faces a real terms cut, it must be increased to £40 to lift children out of poverty. It is 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 opposition in the Scottish Parliament have been weak on this point so perhaps we need our own Marcus Rashford from amongst our Scottish footballing stars to back Alba Party’s campaign for this to force the Government to act.”