Stuart McMillan MSP has accused the Tory Government of harming the potential wellbeing of the most disadvantaged children in Inverclyde as a consequence of their cuts agenda at Westminster.
At Education Questions in Parliament today, Mr McMillan highlighted recent Scottish Government figures which estimated that as a result of cuts to tax credits 22,000 children between 3 and 15 years old in Scotland will lose their entitlement to free school meals.
This comes as reports suggest UK Government is considering scrapping universal free school meal provision in England.
“As a result of Tory cuts to working tax credits 22,000 children between 3 and 15 years old in Scotland will lose their entitlement to free school meals.
“The cuts will also mean that 2,000 two year-olds will no longer be eligible for either free school meals or early learning and childcare.
“I have raised this issue with the Cabinet Secretary to see how Inverclyde Council will be expected to deal with these Tory cuts.
“I was pleased that the Cabinet Secretary informed Parliament that the Scottish Government has changed education regulations that will now be able to mitigate against these Tory cuts.
“I am sure the population in Inverclyde will be happy that the Scottish Government have undertaken these measures. However, I believe that being proactive to help Inverclyde would be better as compared to introducing mitigation measures due to heartless Tory cuts.”
Mr McMillan added:
“The Scotland Bill must be amended to give the Scottish Parliament full powers over social security to ensure we are no longer at the mercy of a Tory Chancellor in Downing Street intent on dismantling the welfare state.”