ALBA Party have launched a petition to demand that the Scottish Government roll out Free School Meals to all school children in Scotland.
In advance of this weekend’s Coronation, that is estimated to cost over £100 Million, ALBA Party have called on the Scottish Government to commit to the Free School Meals policy.
ALBA’s Free School Meals petition comes on the back of First Minister Humza Yousaf’s comments in regards to the roll out of Universal Free School Meals, in which he stated “I don’t think that’s the right way to use that money.”
ALBA Party want to end means-based ‘free’ school meals and to provide free school dinners for all primary school children up to P7 and extend free school meals to all Secondary School pupils also.
Launching their Free School Meals petition today, ALBA Party’s National Equalities Convener Eva Comrie said:
“Rising costs mean an increasing number of families who are not entitled to free school meals can no longer make ends meet.
“Free School Meals help remove the stigma of poverty, provide children with a nutritious meal during the day and help to reduce the cost of the school day by saving families £400 per child a year.
“The First Minister’s comments are worrying because cuts to College places, Dental care, stricter PIP assessments which became ADP assessments, more means testing for Universal Credit were all brought in under the guise of prioritisation and making savings to free up more money to help the poorest. Yet, once the provision is lost the extra investment never seems to materialise.
“Free School Meals also make economic sense. There is no need to have bureaucratic means testing in place, it keeps £400 for every child in household pockets that can be spent in the local economy and obesity costs the NHS up to £600 Million per year & lost productivity in the economy up to £4 Billion, so starting all children on a healthy and equal footing through school meals will save money in the long run.”