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School meals highlight hard-pressed families

Wed, 16 Jan 2019

David Cretney MLC
David Cretney MLC

David Cretney MLC raised a question in this month's Tynwald over support for schools with high numbers of pupils receiving free school meals.

18% of the Island's school children currently receive free school meals. The cost of providing free school meals rose 65% from 2012-2017, while the total numbers of pupils in the Island's schools remained steady.

'Free school meals are an essential safety net for these pupils' said Mr Cretney, 'but these figures point to wider issues. Childhood poverty can have long term effects on a person's chances in life. The figures also show the pressures too many Island families are living under.'

Wages for manual workers have not risen over the last eight years, while fuel bills, rents, rates, and charges for services have been rising steadily.

David said, 'Hopefully these school figures will serve as a wake-up call to Tynwald and us all, to take action to address the causes of poverty on our Island, to move it towards being a more prosperous and caring society for our whole population. I look forward to the report of the current committee looking into poverty on our Island, and its recommendations being acted on promptly by Tynwald and Comin. Traa-dy-Lioor isn't good enough in this case'.

The Manx Labour Party want to see a package of practical measures set up to tackle poverty.


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