07 Jan 2014

 Yet another SNP boost for children and families

Local SNP MSP, John Mason, has welcomed today’s Scottish Government announcement that school children in primaries one, two and three are to receive free school lunches.

Meeting friends at QuarriersThe move, announced in a Holyrood debate this afternoon, follows the decision to allocate extra Barnett formula consequentials to this policy which is estimated to save some families hundreds of pounds.

Speaking from Holyrood after hearing the Government’s announcement, the SNP MSP for Glasgow’s East End, John Mason, said:

“In tough times it is clear that this SNP Government is getting right behind local families with a raft of measures aimed at relieving the burden on household budgets.  Things like the council tax freeze, free prescriptions and scrapping tuition fees have all eased the pressures on family budgets but we’ve been keen to do more, particularly when it comes to school meals. 

“As a local constituency MSP, I have the pleasure of regularly visiting local schools and meeting with various local health professionals.  One of the issues that has come up during discussions is the health and education of local kids.  All too often some kids aren’t having enough nutritional food to eat and we know that this can have a negative impact on their learning ability and attainment.  The introduction of free hot school meals is one way we can help youngsters focus better on their studies and ensure they are being well looked after at school.  Rolling this out for all children in P1-P3 should also help reduce stigmatisation which can happen if only some kids are entitled to free meals.

“Increasingly our focus has been on how to support families.  Devolution, in part, allows us to do this but the powers of independence provide so many more opportunities for Scotland’s families to thrive and prosper”.