Workers Party representative in South Belfast, Patrick Lynn has written to the acting Education Minister Michelle McIlveen demanding that she takes the necessary steps to ensure that holiday meals money is made available this summer.
The £22m needed to fund the school summer holiday home meals scheme is claimed to be ’frozen’ because the Executive is not currently functioning due to the DUP refusing to nominate a Speaker or Deputy First Minister.
“Ninety-eight thousand children here will be dependent on these payments for regular meals during the summer holidays”, Patrick said.
” Whatever the arguments about process, and how the money can or cannot be released, the imperative is that the scheme is fully funded and that children’s health, well being and nutrition are protected,” he said.
“I have written to the Acting Education Minister Michelle McIlveen demanding that she contacts her fellow Ministers to secure their agreement to release the money immediately. This is not only possible but it has a precedent with other Ministers releasing money from their budgets for other schemes,” Patrick explained.
“There can be no excuses for depriving children of food and nutrition. There must be no excuses. If golf clubs and businesses can be given cash subsidies of over £22 billion, then vulnerable children can also be provided for.” concluded Patrick