Branding the Scottish Government as “hypocritical” for claiming to be committed to eradicating child poverty and choosing not to introduce Universal Free School Meals (UFSM) to all, the STUC Women’s Committee believes that the Scottish Government is contributing to the continued escalation of poverty, food insecurity and hunger experienced by children and families in Scotland.
Brenda Carson, Chair of the STUC Women’s Committee said:
“The continued rise in level of child poverty and inequality in Scotland is a shameful indictment. Today in it’s Programme for Government the First Minister had the opportunity to show the real ambition that is required, but failed to do so.
“After fourteen years in power, it is disgraceful that the Scottish Government is failing to use every resource possible to eradicate the poverty experienced by thousands upon thousands of children and young people.
“The Scottish Governments excuse that UFSM cannot be implemented to secondary school pupils because of capacity issues in kitchens and dining areas reflects a lack of innovation, creativity and a commitment to working with the whole school community and external experts to overcome barriers and implement policies that will support tackling poverty and hunger.
“When there is political will there is always a way.
“Our Universal Free School Meals for All campaign is supported by trade unions, the education workforce, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children’s Parliament, Scottish Greens and Scottish Labour party.
“The question remains, why not the Scottish Government?
“The response is deeply disappointing. we will continue to lobby the Scottish Government to expand Universal Free School Meals to all, and take action on poverty now."