End Child Poverty Letter to Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy

Post date: 
18 November 2021
Written by: 

Dave Morris

Policy and Parliamentary Officer

A broad coalition of children’s charities, women’s organisations, disabled people’s organisations, anti-poverty campaigners, think tanks, community groups, academics, trade unions and faith groups are writing to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy to urge her to make the necessary financial commitment in the upcoming Scottish Budget to double the Scottish Child Payment immediately.


Kate Forbes MSP
Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy
Scottish Government
St Andrew’s House

Thursday 18th of November 2021

Dear Cabinet Secretary,

Child poverty and the 2022-23 Scottish Budget

As a broad coalition of children’s charities, women’s organisations, disabled people’s organisations, anti-poverty campaigners, think tanks, community groups, academics, trade unions and faith groups, we are writing to urge you to make the necessary financial commitment in the upcoming Scottish Budget to double the Scottish Child Payment immediately.

We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling child poverty, evidenced in the setting of statutory child poverty targets, the introduction of the Scottish child payment and subsequent commitment to doubling its value, and the ongoing commitment to incorporate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. This action lays a real foundation for delivering on the national mission to end child poverty in Scotland.

However, the evidence shows that current commitments do not, as yet, go far enough to meet the government’s own statutory child poverty targets for 2023/24.

We were pleased that the First Minister confirmed the commitment to double the Scottish child payment in the Programme for Government and that the intention of the Scottish Government is “to deliver this as early within the life of this Parliament as possible” and that “how and exactly when this commitment will be met” will be set out when the Budget Bill is published. However, action is needed as a matter of utmost urgency to meet these targets and protect families from a perfect storm of financial uncertainty. The UK government’s removal of the £20 universal credit uplift, the increase in energy prices and the broader rise in the cost of living are increasing financial insecurity
for those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic – particularly women, single parents, disabled people and those from black and minority ethnic communities. Their incomes will not stretch any further. Many more families are now at risk of poverty.

Doubling the Scottish Child Payment is the single most impactful thing the Scottish Government can do now to protect families and give Scotland a chance to meet our child poverty targets. Families cannot wait any longer for this financial support.

We know that unlocking children from poverty requires long-term work to tackle the structural inequalities parents and carers, especially women, face in the labour market. It will also require action like expansion in funded childcare and investment in affordable housing. But taking immediate action to boost incomes is a necessary next step. Delay in doubling the payment will leave thousands of children in Scotland in poverty and jeopardise the chance of meeting the child poverty targets.

Every level of government has a duty to ensure adequate incomes where it can, and we are clear that the UK Chancellor must reverse the unjust £20 universal credit cut and invest more in support for families. But just as the UK Government has a moral responsibility to do the right thing, so too the Scottish Government has a moral responsibility to make maximum use of the resources at its disposal to loosen the grip of poverty on children’s lives.

We therefore urge you to do the right thing and use the budget to make resources available so that the Scottish Child Payment can be doubled immediately. Amid a rising tide of poverty, children living in poverty right now simply cannot wait.

Yours sincerely,

Sally Ann Kelly, Chief Executive, Aberlour Child Care Trust
Paul Carberry, Director for Scotland, Action for Children
Martin Crewe, Director, Barnardo’s Scotland
Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive, Children 1st
Dr Judith Turbyne, Chief Executive, Children in Scotland
Anna Ritchie Allan, Executive Director, Close the Gap
John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland
Eilidh Dickson, Policy and Parliamentary Manager, Engender
Satwat Rehman, Director, One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS)
Jamie Livingston, Head of Oxfam Scotland
Clare Simpson, Manager, Parenting Across Scotland
Peter Kelly, Director, Poverty Alliance
Claire Telfer, Head of Scotland, Save the Children
Polly Jones, Head of Scotland, The Trussell Trust
Karen Birch, Chief Officer, Abundant Borders
Linda Tuthill, CEO, Action Group
Suzanne Slavin, CEO, Ayr Housing Aid Centre
Sally Clough, Manager, Belville Community Garden Trust
Frank Mosson, Manager, Bridgeton Citizens Advice Bureau
Annie McCormack, Chair, Broke Not Broken
Alan Thornburrow, Director, Business in the Community Scotland
Emma Walker, Director, Camphill Scotland
Margaret Caldwell, Chairperson, Care for Carers Edinburgh
Paul Traynor, Head of External Affairs, Carers Trust Scotland
Jennifer Wallace, Director, Carnegie UK
Claire Burns, Director, CELCIS (Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection) Fiona Rae, Interim Chief Executive, CFINE
Teresa Sutherland, Interim Project Manager, CHAI
Rami Okasha, Chief Executive, Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS)
Dr Colin Morrison, Co-Director, Children’s Parliament
Emma Jackson, National Director Scotland, Christians Against Poverty
The Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Tankerness QC (Jim Wallace), Moderator of the General Assembly, The
Church of Scotland
Sensei Karl Kaliski, Cloud Water Zen Centre
Claire Cairns, Director, The Coalition of Carers in Scotland
Pauline Buchan, Manager, The Cottage Family Centre
Bruce Adamson, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland
Marie Ward, CEO, Cranhill Development Trust
Javarea Imran, Projects Manager, Crookston Community Group
Ewan Aitken, CEO, Cyrenians
Jane Brumpton, Chief Executive, Early Years Scotland
Roslyn Neely, Chief Executive, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity
Bethany Biggar, Director, Edinburgh Food Project
Larry Flanagan, General Secretary, Educational Institute of Scotland (EIS)
Frazer Scott, CEO, Energy Action Scotland
Prof Nancy Loucks OBE, Chief Executive, Families Outside
Jimmy Wilson, CEO, FARE Scotland
John McIntyre, Principle Trustee, Ferguslie Community Development Trust
Laura Falconer, Chief Executive, Forces Children Scotland
Biddy Kelly, Managing Director, Fresh Start
Elizabeth Allen, Clerk, General Meeting for Scotland of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
David Walsh, Public Health Programme Manager, Glasgow Centre for Population Health
Ian Bruce, Chief Executive, Glasgow CVS
Tressa Burke, Chief Executive, Glasgow Disability Alliance
Professor Ian Welsh OBE, Chief Executive, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)
Gavin Yates, CEO, Homeless Action Scotland
Susan Capaldi, Home-Start Cowdenbeath Martin Dorchester, Chief Executive, Includem
Moira Tasker, Chief Executive, Inclusion Scotland
Sabine Goodwin, Coordinator, Independent Food Aid Network
Innes McMinn, Manager, Independent Living Support
Russell Gunson, Director, IPPR Scotland
Chris Birt, Associate Director for Scotland, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
William Nolan, Bishop President of Justice and Peace Scotland
Angela Moohan, CEO, The Larder
Dr Niki Powers, Managing Director, Let’s Talk (Young People)
Liane Coia, Operations Manager, Maryhill Integration Network
Anne Sutherland, Manager, Merkinch Partnership
Mairi McCallum, Project Manager, Moray Food Plus
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary, NASUWT
Craig Samuel, Scotland Representative, National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers
Pete Ritchie, Executive Director, Nourish Scotland
Rhoda Walker, Secretary, Orkney Foodbank
Glenn Liddall, Chief Executive, People Know How
Lesley Ross, Project Manager, Pilton Youth and Children’s Project
Elaine Downie, Co-ordinator, The Poverty Truth Community
Marguerite Hunter Blair, Chief Executive, Play Scotland
Shumela Ahmed, Managing Director, Resilience Learning Partnership
Kate Polson, CEO, The Rock Trust
Dr Mairi Stark, Officer for Scotland, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Christine Carlin, Director, Scotland Home-Start
Graeme McAlister, Chief Executive, Scottish Childminding Association
Dr Carey Lunan, GP Craigmillar Medical Group, Chair of Scottish Deep End Project
Rhona Willder, Development Manager, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
Justina Murray, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol & Drugs
Irene Audain MBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Out of School Care Network
Dr Marsha Scott, Chief Executive, Scottish Women’s Aid
Charandeep Singh, Executive Director, Sikhs in Scotland Trishna Singh OBE, Director, Sikh Sanjog
Pauline Gordon, Director, Social Enterprise Network Scotland
Danny Collins, National President, The Society of St Vincent de Paul Scotland
Susan Lyons, Manager, SPIRIT Advocacy
Professor John H McKendrick, Co-Director, SPIRU, Glasgow Caledonian University
Sharon McAulay, Chief Executive, STAR Project
Rozanne Foyer, General Secretary, STUC
Juliet Harris, Director, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights)
Paul Stuart, Branch Secretary, Unison Housing & Care Scotland Branch
Mike J Kirby, Secretary, UNISON Scotland
Pat Rafferty, Regional Secretary, Unite Scotland
Adrian Sinfield, Professor Emeritus of Social Policy, University of Edinburgh
James Mitchell, Professor of Public Policy, University of Edinburgh
Annette Hastings, Professor of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow
Nick Bailey, Professor of Urban Studies, University of Glasgow
Sharon Wright, Professor of Social Policy (Urban Studies), University of Glasgow
Kimberley Somerside, Policy Engagement Officer, Voluntary Health Scotland
Rob McDowall, Chair, Welfare Scotland
Carolyn Currie, Chief Executive, Women’s Enterprise Scotland
Hugh Foy, Director, Xaverian Missionaries UK Region
Rachel Adamson, Co-Director, Zero Tolerance