ALBA DEMANDS FREE SCHOOL MEALS FOR ALL AS AS OVER 20,000 CHILDREN RETURN TO SCHOOL IN DEBT
ALBA Party has today called for the Scottish Government to fund free school meals for all.
The Pro-independence Party have also urged First Minister Humza Yousaf to write off the debt of parents who cannot afford to pay for their children’s school meals.
Researched published today by Alex Salmond’s Party shows that as across Scotland over 21000 children were in debt to local authorities over unpaid lunches.
Alba Party want Humza Yousaf to step in to wipe the debt clear for the new school year, something they say would only cost the Scottish Government £1.5Million - a tiny fraction of its £50 Billion annual budget.
Neale Hanvey MP, Alba party’s Westminster leader, says that if the First Minister was serious about his commitment to extending free school meals to all primary school children then he would intervene immediately to cancel the outstanding debt.
Hanvey says that this should be followed up by a commitment in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, due in early September, to finally fund the roll out of free school meals for all primary school children. Both Alba Party and the Sunday Mail have campaigned for the policy.
Commenting Neale Hanvey MP said:
“Too many families, either because they are reliant on benefits or face in-work poverty, are unable to provide the basics, as we have seen with the explosion in the need for foodbanks as families struggle to contain their own costs.
“But we are also seeing families unable to pay for school meals as sky-high energy costs and rising food prices bite.
“At the moment in Scotland £1.5M is owed to Councils for school meals debt. That debt must be written off and help provided to those families who need it.
“Families across Scotland need help now which is why today as children are set to return to school across the country I am calling on Humza Yousaf to write off the school meals debt for those families who cannot afford to pay.
“Universal entitlement defines a civilised well-being society, it is, therefore, time for the Scottish Government to finally deliver upon its promise for Free School Meals for every Primary School Child, something that both the Sunday Mail and Alba Party have long called for. But we know that as children go to high school the cost of the school day only gets more expensive so not only primary school children should receive a nutritious free lunch every day - all pupils should, including those in secondary school.
“ALBA Party calls on Humza Yousaf to immediately write off the school meals debt for over 20,000 Scottish Children and to roll out free school meals for all children in Scotland.”