Postcode Lottery: Councils Cash in on School Meal Costs
Alba Party Holyrood leader Ash Regan MSP has called on the Scottish Government to fully fund free school meals for all primary school kids ahead of a key budget debate today.
A POSTCODE lottery across Scotland is resulting in hikes to the cost of School Meals across the country.
In new data published today (Thursday) by the ALBA Party, local councils are seen to be cashing in on the cost of school meals - despite the Scottish Government promising in 2021 to make school meals free for all primary school kids.
Alba Party’s Holyrood leader Ash Regan MSP has called on the Scottish Government to “finally deliver” on its promise to fully fund free meals for all primary school children as part of this year’s Scottish budget.
In data published today, North Lanarkshire kids are shown to be hit with the highest daily meal charges at £3:30 a day. Children in Regan’s Edinburgh constituency are hit with a £3 charge - an increase of 28% since 2022/23.
Alba’s Regan fears that if the Scottish Government do not step in to fund free school meals as promised that it will lead to further cost hikes this year which will lead to school meal debt being built back up or children going hungry.
Commenting Alba Party Holyrood leader Ash Regan MSP said:
"Last year I campaigned for School Meal debt to be scrapped and thankfully this was delivered. But there is no point in cancelling that debt if the Scottish Government sit back and look on as local Council’s slap further hikes to the cost of a school meal. Across Scotland there is a postcode lottery in the cost of meals and how fast the cost to parents is rising.
"The Scottish Government must use this year’s budget to finally put in place the support to fund the full roll out of free school meals for all primary school children.
"Of course, we know the cost of the school day only gets more expensive as children go to high school so extending the policy further must be an aspiration within the life of this Parliament - but for now it’s time for the promise of free school meals for primary school children to be delivered."