Scotland could see child poverty continue to rise over the next five years and reach 29 per cent of children by 2023-24, according to new analysis published today by the Resolution Foundation. This would be equivalent to an extra 60,000 children across Scotland living in relative poverty.
The Foundation notes that UK-wide benefit policies are driving up poverty in Scotland, however that “Scottish policy makers have not announced plans remotely large enough to counteract that rise”.
Scottish Government has committed to introducing a new income supplement for low-income families by 2022, as part of wider action to meet statutory targets to cut child poverty to less than 10% by 2030. The Foundation outline that if the Scottish government is to meet its child poverty targets, it will need to set out much more radical changes to social security than it has done.
John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:
“There is no question that the key driver of rising child poverty is UK government benefit cuts but the Scottish Government’s timetable for a new income supplement fails to reflect the extraordinary increase in child poverty that the country faces. Children in poverty really can’t wait until 2022 and beyond for the Scottish Parliament to use its powers to boost family incomes in a substantive way.”
“As time slips by childhoods are slipping by, childhoods that continue to be blighted by the damage poverty wreaks. Action is needed now. An immediate £5 top up to child benefit could, for example, lift thousands of children out of poverty and protect many more from hardship.”
For further comment or interviews please contact John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland, on 07795 340 618
Notes to editors
For more information, see the Foundation’s Living Standards Outlook 2019.