Support for families on low incomes

Tackling child poverty in Scotland - More support for families on low incomes

A progress report on child poverty to be published by the Scottish Government sets out a different path to UK Government austerity.

Scottish Government analysis has previously estimated that UK Government cuts to social security since 2010 would amount to £3.7 billion annually by 2020/21.

New analysis shows that the Scottish Government has invested over half a billion pounds in the last year alone. This has been targeted at supporting low income families across a wide range of policy areas. 

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty, Professor Philip Alston, blamed the UK Government for projected child poverty increases, stating this was ‘not just a disgrace, but a social calamity and an economic disaster, all rolled into one’.

Tackling child poverty is a key priority for the Scottish Government. In 2017, legislation was taken through the Scottish Parliament to set ambitious income targets to reduce child poverty.

Scotland already has lower child poverty and in-work poverty rates than the UK. Over the past year, the Scottish Government has spent more than £125 million on mitigating the worst impacts of UK austerity – including the bedroom tax.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“As the only country in the UK with ambitious income-based targets to eradicate child poverty, Scotland is firm in the belief that we can do better, and we will.

“That is why today I will set out to Parliament the progress we have made in the past year on child poverty and our next steps.

“Our actions stretch right across Government to help people on low incomes at every stage of life.

“From new devolved benefits offering support during pregnancy through to starting school, promoting the real living wage and ensuring everyone has a warm, secure place to call home we have a concerted and clear strategy.

“It is a long-term commitment to the people in Scotland who need the help the most.”

Background
 A full list of the actions planned and now being delivered is available in Every Child, Every Chance: The Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2018-22.

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