'State of the nation' report to put ending child poverty at the heart of remaining Holyrood campaign | CPAG

'State of the nation' report to put ending child poverty at the heart of remaining Holyrood campaign

Published on: 
23 April 2021
Written by: 

John Dickie

Director of CPAG in Scotland
  • Politicians to respond to new 'Poverty in Scotland 2021' report in front of over 300 policy makers, service providers, academics, trade unionists and activists

  • Child poverty targets can be met say experts, but over one million people still in poverty across Scotland

Representatives of all the main Holyrood parties will today (Friday 23rd) respond to a ‘state of the nation’ publication bringing together the latest facts on the shocking extent of poverty in Scotland, and the implications for the next Scottish Parliament.


Poverty in Scotland 2021 is a unique collaboration between the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland; Glasgow Caledonian University (Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit and the WiSE Centre), I-SPHERE at Heriot-Watt University, and the Poverty Alliance.


It highlights that over one million people in Scotland are living in poverty, including 240 000 children. It sets out how the next Scottish government must use key ‘tools’, including public finance, social security, work, economic development, the childcare workforce, education and social care to transform Scotland toward a poverty free country.


Key recommendations include;

· more ambitious use of Scotland’s tax powers to tackle poverty and inequality,

· clearer links between poverty ambitions and Scottish budget decisions,

· at least doubling the Scottish child payment,

· investment in care to be at the core of economic development,

· a focus on improving pay and job security; especially for young people, women and black and ethnic minority workers.


Leading politicians Neil Gray (SNP), Pauline McNeill (Scottish Labour), Alison Johnstone (Scottish Greens), Cllr Kyle Thornton (Scottish Conservatives) and Carole Ford (Scottish Liberal Democrats) will respond to the findings and proposed solutions in front of an online audience of over 300 policy makers, public officials, campaigners and activists.


Poverty in Scotland 2021 draws together the expertise of academics, anti-poverty campaigners and other experts from across health, education, housing and local government.


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


With less than two weeks until the election, this report sets out in stark terms the scale of poverty that still exits across Scotland, but also contains a range of positive solutions that we urge all those elected to the new parliament to act on. All the Holyrood parties committed to ensure that fewer than 18% of our children are living in poverty by 2024, and that less than one in ten of our children are living in poverty by 2030. With one in four children still in poverty the challenge to them now is to tell us how they will meet that target. Struggling families deserve nothing less.”


John McKendrick, the lead editor, author and Professor of Social Justice at Glasgow Caledonian University; added;


“The last parliament made an historic commitment to eradicate child poverty by 2030. The next Government must build on the foundation that has been laid, and extend the actions that have already been introduced to deliver on this commitment. The evidence is unequivocal – what we are currently doing is not enough. Scotland’s children now need bold and ambitious action to deliver on promise and aspiration. If our prospective politicians are not able to deliver a programme for Government that would eradicate poverty, then they are not the ones that Scotland needs.”


Linda Craik, an activist with direct experience of poverty in Edinburgh who will speak at the launch, said


“There are many issues and stumbling blocks that currently trap people in poverty in Scotland. As a member of End Poverty Edinburgh, a group of citizens formed to raise awareness of poverty to hold the city to account, it is crucial that the voices of people with lived experience of poverty are at the heart of policy decision making. It is only through the sharing of our experiences and our direct involvement in the decisions that affect us that we can stem rising poverty”


For further details/interviews please contact:

John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland, on 0141 552 3656 or 07795 340 618


Notes to Editors


1. Find full details and register to join the launch event at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Rx-UO5wtTD2VAKpfGOc4tA

2. A summary of Poverty in Scotland 2021 is available https://cpag.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/briefing/poverty-scotland-2021-towards-2030-without-poverty-summary-briefing. Advance proofs of the full publication available on request contact [email protected]

3. Poverty in Scotland 2021 is the latest in a series published by CPAG in association with Glasgow Caledonian University (Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit and the WiSE Centre), I-SPHERE at Heriot-Watt University, and the Poverty Alliance before each Holyrood general election. The last edition was publish in March 2016.