Stark warning on child poverty

By Lizzie Healey

Dumbarton and Lomond constituency MSP, Jackie Baillie, has called on the UK and Scottish Governments to combat poverty as a new report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission Scotland predicts that around 80,000 more children could be living in poverty by 2021-22.

The report, entitled ‘The cumulative impact of tax, social security and public spending decisions in Scotland’ has predicted that as a result of the tax and welfare reforms between 2010 and 2018, child poverty in Scotland will increase by 2021-22.

The report highlights that around 80,000 additional children could be in poverty, an increase of 8 percentage points. In addition, the number of adults in poverty and overall household poverty rate are also set to rise but only slightly, by less than 1 percentage point in each case. The report states “This reflects the fact that the cuts to benefits and tax credits, and the adverse impacts of UC, are felt disproportionately by households with children.”

Baillie Jackie MSP fishingJackie Baillie, pictured,  said: “This report should serve as a stark warning to the Tory and SNP governments about the impact that their austerity policies are having on our communities.

“One child living in poverty is one too many. This should be a source of shame for our governments, so the forecast that there will be a further 80,000 by 2021 is simply unacceptable.

“In order to end Tory austerity being passed to Scotland, the Scottish Government must be willing to use the powers that they have been given to tackle poverty. Labour’s policies to increase child benefit by £5 per week, fix the housing crisis and deliver a £10 per hour real living wage would all go a long way to stop this austerity agenda.

“The Scottish Government must bring forward plans to ensure that families across Scotland are spared poverty and I commit to working with them if they do so.”

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