School meal debt increasing
SCHOOL meal debt is rising in Angus as parents struggle to make ends meet.
Data has revealed £1,036 was owed at the end of 2016/17 – up from £560 in 2015/16 and only £34 in 2014/15.
Conservative North East region MSP Bill Bowman said the reasons why some families might now struggle are complex.
He said: “Moving to online-only payments may present an obstacle.
“I’m confident Angus Council is being sensitive to any issues, but any further increase would be concerning.
“It is vital guardians of children approaching P4 are given all information about benefits for which they may be eligible.”
The council has a policy of never refusing a child lunch, but the cost of a meal will be charged to their account.
When a debt reaches a certain amount a reminder is sent out.
An Angus Council spokesman said: “To ensure families do not run up debt, the online school meal payments system is set at £10.50.”