Unacceptable dispute between two biggest parties holding back free school meal payments, says Lyttle

It is unacceptable a dispute between the DUP and Sinn Féin is resulting in a lack of funding for free school meals payments, Alliance Education spokesperson Chris Lyttle MLA has said.

Executive Ministers did not sign off on the funding at their meeting yesterday (Monday). It is understood the DUP refused to do so following Sinn Féin’s blockage of a pension for victims of the Troubles. Education Minister Peter Weir had last week pledged to extend free school meals over the summer.

“There is an urgent need to end food poverty, particularly for children and young people, and the extension of free school meal payments is vital to achieving this aim.” said Mr Lyttle.

“Alliance is unequivocal in our support for delivery of the pension scheme for victims of the Troubles and it is unacceptable for any party to play the politics of trade off with some of the most vulnerable people in our community.

“This stand-off must urgently be resolved – progress the victims pension and extend free schools meals to deliver the social justice many people across our community need and deserve.”