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Roseanna Condems Opposition MSPs for Voting Against Free School Meals

The Scottish National Party's Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Perthshire South & Kinross-shire, has highlighted figures which show that over 3000 children in Perth & Kinross could benefit from the Scottish Government's decision to provide healthy free school meals to all pupils in P1-P3.

Speaking today (Monday) Ms Cunningham said:

"As part of a £114 million package for young people over two years, every one of Perth & Kinross's P1 to P3 children will have the option of a free meal in school from January next year, improving health and wellbeing, increasing attainment and saving families around £330 a year for each child.

"The announcement was warmly welcomed by a coalition of children's charities who have been campaigning for this policy

"In Perth and Kinross, that means that – based on the latest available figures - around 3200 children will now be eligible to benefit.

"The First Minister has also announced that free childcare provision would also be expanded to every two year-old from a workless household in Scotland – around 8,400 children or 15 per cent of all two year-olds – by August this year.

"And by August next year, free childcare provision will be extended further, reaching 15,400 children – 27 per cent of all two year-olds – by widening entitlement to families that received certain welfare benefits such as Jobseeker's Allowance.

"However, opposition MSPs this week voted against the policy in the Scottish Parliament – to reactions of incredulity in the Chamber.

"In particular, last week's debate completely exposed Labour's narrow partisan agenda. In their determination to attack everything proposed by the SNP, Labour MSPs ended up voting against policies which Labour themselves have claimed to support.

"But that is of course exactly what they were doing – and now they have to explain their actions to the coalition of charities which has campaigned for this policy.

"I was proud to vote for the rollout of healthy free school meals to all children in Primaries 1 to 3, and a significant expansion of childcare provision.

"Labour's shambolic actions show once again that only the powers of independence offer us the chance to build on this to make a truly transformational change."

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design