Friday 8th February 2019
Child poverty campaigners today (8/02/19) responded to reports from NHS Health Scotland of stalling life expectancy and rising death rates in Scotland poorest areas. The reports highlight reduced spending on social security benefits as a key factor likely to be driving the disturbing trend.
John Dickie, the Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:
“There can’t be a starker warning of the impact of rising poverty and the terrible consequences of cutting the vital benefits and services that families across Scotland and the rest of the UK rely on, especially the most vulnerable. These new NHS public health reports make absolutely clear that protecting social security budgets and reducing poverty are crucial to a healthier Scotland. It can’t possibly be fair that a child’s life expectancy is cut short because of how much money their family has.”
Government at every level needs to act. The UK government needs to end the freeze on benefit uprating that’s dragging hundreds of thousands of children into poverty, whilst the Scottish Government needs to build on very welcome commitments to use new social security powers to bring forward its promised income supplement. A £5 top up to child benefit would be one effective way of boosting family incomes. Finally employers and government at every level need to work together to end the in-work poverty that so many families face. Jobs need to offer security, opportunities to progress and the flexibility to juggle caring responsibilities with work.”
For further comment or interviews please contact John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland, on 07795 340 618
Note: The NHS life expectancy reports can be found at http://www.healthscotland.scot/news/2019/february/stalling-life-expectan...