School meals scheme expanded: A long way to go

‘KEEP the recovery going’ was the mantra before the last election and, if GDP figures are the matrix you apply, then the recovery has strengthened and that objective is being realised. Last year GDP grew by 5.2%. The unemployment rate stands at just over 7%, the lowest in a decade.

These are positive figures and, after nearly a decade of reversals, they are very welcome. However, those figures don’t appear to be a tide that, to date at least, seems capable of lifting all boats. The School Meals Programme is to be expanded in September to cater for another 50,000 children. It is wonderful that this game-changing support is in place and that an improving economy makes it possible. However, it does indicate that the recovery is not as evenly spread as if should be and that a lot of people still struggle to make ends meet.

Low pay, sometimes so low workers must turn to welfare supplementary pay, zero-hours contracts, and gig jobs all contribute to this unacceptable situation. The economic indicators may be going in the right direction but we have a long way to go to make the recovery relevant for everyone.


IF you are the parent of a child who is about to venture forth into the hallowed halls of Primary education, or ‘Big School’ as every Irish mammy refers to it since the dawn of time; well, chances are you’ve probably been very active in your Google searches looking for tips and advice on how to ease your child, and yourself, into this next chapter.Out of curiosity, I searched online for ‘Back to school advice’

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