Monday, 6 October 2008

Only Three Councils Can Afford Free Meals

Many councils, including those with SNP as part of the governing set up, have raised concerns over Holyrood imposing that they provide free school meals to those in primaries 1 to 3 withoug any additional funding. Half have already said they cannot afford the scheme, 13 have yet to consider it fully and so far only three have said they could afford to cover the costs.

Fiona Hyslop the education secretary announced the propoal last week after a £5m pilot scheme. Surely that tells you something, this idea good though it is does cost money. So with the Nats sucessfully getting a universal freeze on council tax increases from the local authorities, and planning to centrally set the rates of local taxation, surely the government at Holyrood must provide the funds for this scheme if they deem it so important. Not rely on the already cash strapped local education budgets which are failing to provide full time nursery teachers and reduced class sizes to met other SNP education pledges.

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