New IPPR Scotland report reinforces case for doubling value of the Scottish Child Payment at start of next Parliament | CPAG

New IPPR Scotland report reinforces case for doubling value of the Scottish Child Payment at start of next Parliament

Published on: 
26 March 2021
Written by: 

John Dickie

Director of CPAG in Scotland

Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland

Media Release

 

New IPPR Scotland report reinforces case for doubling value of the Scottish Child Payment at start of next Parliament

·       Families are falling way below the income that the public believe is socially acceptable

Campaigners welcome think tank’s recommendation to  “Double the value of the Scottish Child Payment at the start of the next Parliament, and again to £40 p/w by the end of the term”

 

A new report from the independent think tank IPPR Scotland has been welcomed by child poverty campaigners for revealing the huge gaps between family incomes and what the general public think is socially acceptable. The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland today said that the researchers recommendations that the new £10 per week Scottish child payment should be doubled in value at the start of the post-election Parliament,  with further increases each year to ensure child poverty targets are met, were absolutely vital next steps toward ensuring every family had a decent socially acceptable minimum income.  The report comes the day after Scottish government statistics revealed child poverty was rising even before the pandemic struck, with 26% of Scotland’s children (260 000) officially recognised as living in poverty in 2019/20. With many parents facing increasing risk of unemployment in the months ahead the IPPR researchers found that current social security support would leave a couple with three children over £1300 per month short of what is needed for a minimum socially acceptable standard of living.

 

Responding to the report John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said;

 

“This report sets on in stark detail the gap between the income so many families have to live on and the income needed for a decent, socially acceptable standard of living. It’s through that gap that so many of our children fall – with too often horrendous consequences for their health, education, mental wellbeing and life chances. The recommendations of this report set out how that gap can be filled, starting with a doubling of the new £10 per week Scottish child payment. It’s vital that all Scotland political parties heed that call and put fixing family finances at the heart of the election campaign.”

 

Mr Dickie continued;

 

“Of course increasing family benefits on its own cannot end child poverty.  With 68% of children in poverty living in families where an adult is working we need to see action on pay and conditions to make work a route to an adequate income. This new report is clear that a new social contract for work, including committing to ‘living hours’ alongside a living wage is also needed. But in order to reach the 2023/24 child poverty targets, and build the foundations on which wider action to end child poverty and a minimum income guarantee can be built, investing significantly more in the Scottish child payment now is essential.”

 

Ends

 

For further comment of background contact John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland on 07795 340 618

 

Notes

 

The new report SECURING A LIVING INCOME IN SCOTLAND is published at https://www.ippr.org/scotland.

Scottish Government Poverty and Inequality statistics were published yesterday  at https://www.gov.scot/collections/child-poverty-statistics/  and UK Households below average income (HBAI) statistics are published today at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/households-below-average-income-hbai--2 .

Scottish government forecasts suggest that the existing £10 a week Scottish child payment will lift around 30 000 children out of poverty by 2023/24. Analysis from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests that despite this the interim 2023/24 child poverty target enshrined in the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act will be missed by four percentage points,  with 40,000 more children left in poverty than if the targets were met.  However meeting the target is possible if the Scottish child payment is increased, they conclude.

Previous IPPR analysis Better than before: A 'social renewal supplement' on higher earners in Scotland published March 2021 demonstrates how reducing the Higher Rate Tax Threshold down to £40 000  (equivalent to a £5 a week increase for higher earners each year for three years) could in itself generate the resources needed to lift 50 000 more children out of poverty by increasing the Scottish child payment from £10 to £40 per week, lifting 50 000 more children out of poverty.

Fraser of Allander analysis published 24th March 2021 at https://fraserofallander.org/poverty-and-inequality-looking-pre-and-post-pandemic/ concludes that the “good news is that, based on the assumption of broad economic recovery over the next few years, our analysis shows that meeting these (Child Poverty) targets is possible with the powers that the Scottish Government currently hold” and that “if the Scottish Child Payment was used alone to meet the target, a payment of £40 a week would meet the interim target and cost in the region of half a billion a year”.