Campaigners welcome Scottish Government consultation into reducing child poverty

Scottish Government aims for drastic reductions in child poverty by 2030

CAMPAIGNERS against child poverty have welcomed a Scottish Government consultation into how to reduce child poverty in Scotland with its forthcoming Child Poverty Bill.

The Child Poverty Action Group (Cpag) told CommonSpace that new legislation could include ambitious targets for child poverty reduction that, while not a solution the child poverty on their own, would keep the issue as a “top priority”.

A spokesperson for Cpag Scotland said: “This is a great opportunity to shape vital legislation which can play a key role in reducing child poverty and improving the prospects of Scotland’s families.

“With one in five of Scotland’s children still living in poverty it is vital that the new Bill includes ambitious targets as well as duties to measure and report on progress and a strategic framework holds national and local government to account.”

Background read: Scotland Office policies blamed for ‘Glasgow Effect’ in long awaited report 

“We know that legislation in itself won’t end child poverty but it will help ensure child poverty remains the top priority it needs to be for every level of government in Scotland.”

The Scottish Government has launched is Child Poverty Bill with the avowed intention to “eradicate” child poverty in Scotland.

Launching the consultation for the Child Poverty Bill, the Scottish Government’s equalities minister Angela Constance said that the aim of the new legislation would be to reduce relative child poverty to 10 per cent of children and absolute child poverty to 5 per cent by 2030.

The Bill will propose to achieve these advances by protecting family incomes in law, maintaining them above a safe level.

One in five Scottish children currently live in poverty. In recent years child poverty has increased in Scotland from 19 per cent 2011-12 to 22 per cent in 2014-15.

In May a report by Glasgow Centre for Population Health, University of the West of Scotland, NHS Scotland and University College of London found that successive UK Government policies had failed Glasgow, a major site of Scottish poverty, through a combination of disastrous economic policies and subsequent mismanagement.

Picture courtesy of Ewan McIntosh

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