Thursday, October 02, 2008

'Free school meals' - at no cost?

My current state of disbelief is now reverting back to my earlier state of despair :-((

... BBC Scotland are reporting today that all P1-P3 pupils will receive free school meals from August 2010 (quite some way off) - and, on the face of it, this is welcome news ...

... BUT - sorry - it is also being categorically stated that:

"However, the government will not be allocating extra money to fund the roll-out of the initiative."

No extra money - we, in Scotland's Local Authorities, have got all the cash we're going to get and we dutifully signed up to all of this in that 'historical concordat' - go on, check out those specified commitments on page 4 and 5 here.

I said it back in early May this year:

"The rest of the "specified set of commitments", and the fact that they are practically all unfunded, make very, very worrying reading financially..."

Those who signed that concordat, and those who have since remained silent on it, frankly have a lot of serious questions to ask themselves.

Local Government in Scotland HAS been emasculated and - mark my words - will subsequently be blamed for all the 'political ills of Scotland' come late 2010/early 2011. The Political Party of "Independence" has indeed removed that very same thing from the tier of Government they control and democracy is the weaker for it.

As for this City Council Administration Coalition of Libs/Nats - they can't even provide decent school meals for existing pupils, never mind rolling out such to all Primary 1-Primary 3 pupils ...

... and, of course, you simply cannot ignore the small matter of money to pay for all of this at a local level?

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