Alba Party Call for £40 Child Payment and Free School Meals for all in Scotland
ALBA have made the call as the Scottish Parliament today debates how child poverty is tackled in Scotland.
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 the Scottish Parliament debates how to tackle child poverty in Scotland as 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 30,000 children out of poverty but due to record 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.
Commenting Alba Party Depute Leader Kenny MacAskill MP 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 isn’t just a slogan but it is something the Government put resources towards accomplishing. As the Scottish Parliament debates, today, how to best tackle child poverty they must be under no doubt that it is a political choice whether they choose to do so or not."
“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."