Our response to the Scottish Budget

Published on: 
09 December 2021
Written by: 

John Dickie

Director of CPAG in Scotland

Media Release

For immediate release

9/12/21

 

Budget response: Doubling of Scottish child payment “big step forward on path to meeting Scotland child poverty targets”, say campaigners

 

· “Investing in children absolutely the right thing to do”

Responding to the Scottish Budget today the Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, John Dickie, said:

“The use of this Budget to invest in children and double the new Scottish child payment is absolutely the right thing to do. It really is a big step forward on the path to meeting Scotland’s child poverty targets. The increased payment will be welcomed by families across the country who are currently facing impossible choices trying to make ends meet as universal credit cuts bite, energy prices soar and the wider costs of living rise. They will spend the extra cash in local shops and businesses, helping to drive economic recovery.”

 

Mr Dickie continued;

 

“More action will be needed in the years ahead to ensure child poverty targets are met and every child grows up with adequate resources to give them a decent start in life. As a country we must build on today’s Budget breakthrough and continue to invest in the social security, childcare, decent jobs, housing and local public services that are critical to families”.

 

Ends

Notes

  1. The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 requires Scottish Ministers to ensure less than 18% of children are living in poverty by 2023/24 and less than 10% of children are living in poverty by 2030. The latest official statistics (for 2019/20) show that 26% of children (260 000 children) were living in poverty in Scotland. 68% of children in poverty live in working families.
  2. The Scottish child payment currently provides £10 per week per child to children under six in low income families. The Scottish government has committed to rolling out the payment to eligible under 16 year olds by end 2022. In meantime bridging payment are being paid for some school aged children in receipt of free school meals.
  3. The SNP manifesto committed to doubling the payment by the end of the Parliament with the First Minister subsequently saying this would be “as early within the life of this Parliament as possible” following a letter in August from over 100 trade unions, faith groups, children’ charities, women’s organisations and social policy academics. The same coalition wrote to the Finance Secretary last month urging her to use next week’s Scottish budget to double the Scottish child payment immediately.
  4. Fraser of Allander analysis concludes “The good news is that, based on the assumption of broad economic recovery over the next few years, our analysis shows that meeting these targets is possible with the powers that the Scottish Government currently hold. However, it will require substantial investment to make it a reality.”