Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland
MEDIA RELEASE for immediate release 29/03/18
• "Time now for immediate action on income supplement to avert horrendous child poverty projections"
Child poverty campaigners today (29th March 2018) welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government's first statutory child poverty delivery plan under the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act, and called for swift action to implement the proposed income supplement.
The 2017 Act sets out legally binding targets toward the eradication of child poverty by 2030, and requires Ministers to produce delivery plans that set out and assess the contribution of the measures they will take to reach those targets (see Note 3).
Responding to the first delivery plan John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:
"Today's launch of the first child poverty delivery plan under the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act is a really welcome step on the road to a Scotland free of child poverty. It rightly includes measures to support parental employment and reduce the costs that struggling families face. Particularly welcome is the commitment to introduce an income supplement to help boost family finances."
"It’s vital that swift progress is now made to deliver on the new income supplement promise. The options for topping up financial support for families are clear. Its time now for immediate action and investment, not further deliberations. A £5 a week top up to child benefit would, for example, lift up to 30 000 children out of poverty. Every week that passes sees more children pushed into poverty as UK welfare reforms hack away at the value of the vital support that families in and out of work rely on. A step change in the scale of investment here in Scotland is now needed to avert the government's own horrendous projection of a future where 2 in every 5 children are living in poverty by 2030."
For more information contact Kirsty McKechnie, Welfare Rights Worker, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0777 960 7166
1. Child Poverty Action Group works on behalf of the one in four children in Scotland growing up in poverty. It doesn’t have to be like this. We use our understanding of what causes poverty and the impact it has on children’s lives to campaign for policies that will prevent and solve poverty – for good. We are leading expert providers of second tier social security advice, information and training
2. Child poverty in Scotland increased from 21% (210 000) in 2011-14 to 24% (230 000) in 2014-17, with 66% of children in poverty living in working families http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Social-Welfare/IncomePoverty
3. The 2017 Child Poverty (Scotland) Act sets four legally binding income based targets for the reduction of child poverty, with a headline target to reduce relative child poverty to less than 10% by 2030 (down from 24% (230 000) in 2016/17). The Act requires the Scottish Government to produce three Delivery Plans over the period to March 2031 setting out:
- the measures that the Scottish Ministers propose to take during the period of the plan for the purpose of meeting the child poverty targets
- an assessment of the contribution the proposed measures are expected to make to meeting the child poverty targets
- an explanation of how that assessment has been arrived at
- an assessment of the financial resources required to fund the proposed measures.
4. The Poverty and Inequality Commission was set up by the Scottish Government to provides independent advice to Scottish Ministers on reducing poverty and inequality in Scotland and to scrutinise the progress that is being made. It’s advice to Ministers on the child poverty delivery plan required by the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act can be found at https://povertyinequality.scot/publications/.
5. The IPPR Scotland report "How much would it cost to reduce child poverty in Scotland?" is published at www.ippr.org/scotland
6. Give Me Five is a coalition of faith groups, children’s charities, anti-poverty groups and trade union groups and supported by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner, campaigning for the Scottish Government to top up child benefit by £5 per week. It believes the Scottish Government should use its powers to commit to top up child benefit by £5 a week for every child, and in doing so, not only lift 30,000 children out of poverty, but help to increase the incomes of all families across Scotland. http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/give-me-five-child-benefit-top-campaign
7. The effects of poverty are real and significant. When children grow up poor they miss out. They miss out on the things most children take for granted: warm clothes, school trips, having friends over for tea. They too often do less well at school and earn less as adults.
8. As well as damaging children and families, poverty is a costly problem. Independent research commissioned by CPAG estimates that child poverty costs the UK at least £29 billion a year in extra pressure on public services that deal with the effects of poverty and, in the longer term, wasted economic potential.