Labour is refusing to help children facing poverty after attacking the SNP Government’s £114million package that will significantly expand free school meals and childcare provision.

The Scottish Free School Meals campaign are “delighted” by the Scottish Government’s announcement, saying it “marks a major step forward”.

The investment will see:
• Free school meals for every one of Scotland’s P1 to P3 children from January next year
• Free childcare provision 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
• Free childcare provision extended further by August 2015, 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

In welcoming this news Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson MSP said:

“This significant announcement from the SNP Government underlines our commitment to investing in Scotland’s future and will benefit children in the Falkirk area.

“The move will also act as a much-needed financial boost for families during this tough economic climate, with local families saving at least £330 per child. This is vital support at a time of Westminster cuts that are hitting the poorest hardest.

“While the UK Chancellor George Osborne warns of another £25billion cuts that will continue to hit the most vulnerable in society, the Scottish Government is investing in our future and helping protect those facing poverty.