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Tackling child poverty

Published: 26 Mar 2018 00:01

Long-term risk due to UK Government welfare cuts.  

Independent analysis due to be published alongside the Scottish Government’s first Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan shows the extent of damage caused by UK Government welfare cuts.

The analysis outlines projections of child poverty rates in Scotland on the basis of announced tax and benefit changes, and the consequent increases in poverty levels.

It estimates that by 2030/31, 38% of children will be in relative poverty, 32% in absolute poverty, 17% in combined low income and material deprivation, and 16% of children will be in persistent poverty – all up significantly on current rates.

Communities Secretary Angela Constance said:

"This reveals the long-term damage of UK Government welfare cuts and austerity, with alarming increases across every measure of child poverty. We know the damage that has been caused already, but what alarms me is that the worst is still to come, with £4 billion annual cuts by the end of this decade set to take a stark toll on families and children.

“Addressing inequalities is core to everything we do to make Scotland fairer and more equal. That includes spending over £100 million every year to protect people from the worst impact of UK Government welfare cuts – money that could be better spent on preventing poverty.

“Our Child Poverty Act recently established Scotland as the only part of the UK with statutory targets to tackle child poverty – and it is now more evident the scale of the challenge we face in meeting our ambitions due to UK Government policies.

“The UK Government must urgently and drastically change course. If they won’t, then they must deliver the necessary powers and financial levers to Scotland so we can do things differently and actually lift people out of poverty as opposed to only being able to mitigate the UK Government’s cuts.”

Background

An analysis document is attached, outlining the projected rises in child poverty.

The Tackling Poverty Delivery Plan will publish later this week and is a key feature of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act. The actions that will be set out in the plan will be supported through a range of investment, including a £50 million Tackling Child Poverty Fund.