31 May 2022

Our response to the Scottish Government’s Resource Spending Review

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Written by By Finlay Allmond, Policy and Public Affairs Officer at Magic Breakfast

Home > What we do > News and views > Our response to the Scottish Government’s Resource Spending Review

This month has marked a year since the Holyrood election when the SNP manifesto committed to ‘provide free school breakfasts and lunches to every primary school pupil in Scotland… and for all children in state-funded special schools.’1

Scotland’s second party of government, the Scottish Green Party, went further, committing to a Scotland where ‘all schools will be supported to provide a free breakfast to those who want or need it.’2

Magic Breakfast welcomed these commitments just like we welcomed the Programme for Government which turned political promises into government promises. What young Scots need now is for these promises to become policies. However, those 250,000 children and young people at risk of morning hunger will gain little from today’s Scottish Government Resource Spending Review.3

Magic Breakfast acknowledge that today’s announcement isn’t and was never going to be a full budget. However, it is disappointing that whilst policies such as free school lunches were heralded, breakfast was again ignored.

This is the third major government announcement that we’ve seen in the past six months that has lacked any further commitments to delivering breakfast policy. Both the 2022-23 Scottish Budget4, published in December 2021, and the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2022-20265, published in March 2022, failed to expand on previous government promises to deliver breakfast provision for Scotland’s children and young people.

Yet, whilst being light on details, today’s Resource Spending Review isn’t entirely unwelcome. The Cost-of-Living crisis is affecting every generation and the commitment to the Scottish Child Payment will deliver much needed support for Scottish families. The reiteration of the extension of free school lunches to Primary 5 is welcomed, even though this is a reduction of the initial government commitment to expand lunch provision to Primary 7.6

Not only is breakfast provision financially possible, we’re we are also committed to supporting the Scottish Government to develop their national plans. In our Magic Breakfast Scotland Spring Policy Briefing Series7 we shared fully costed plans for delivering on the Scottish Government commitments. Our Hidden Hunger8 report mapped breakfast provision across the UK, demonstrating how poor Scottish breakfast provision is compared to the rest of the UK.

This is a fantastic opportunity that’s being missed. If the Scottish Government implement its promises, then Scotland will lead the UK in delivering for children and young people. This will transform the current position where an average school breakfast provision in Scotland reaches less students than any other UK nation.9

We will continue to engage with the Scottish Government at every opportunity to support their ambitions. We responded to the initial consultation on the Resource Spending Review, and you can read our response below.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be seeking assurances from the Scottish Government that school breakfast provision will be delivered to young people as soon as possible, and within this parliament. We’ll be working across parliament, and across the country to make sure that no child or young person in Scotland is too hungry to learn.

Scotland can afford to deliver for our children and young people. The Scottish Government needs to stop hesitating and act now.

Click here to read Response from Magic Breakfast to the Scottish Government’s Consultation on the Resource Spending Review Framework.

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30 November 2023

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