I'm calling on the UK Government to come up with a credible plan to end child poverty, as new figures have revealed the growing scale of child poverty across the country, even before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
The new research carried out by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition shows that in 2019/20 there were 4770 children trapped in poverty in Glenrothes and Central Fife. That’s 29% of children in the constituency. You can view the report here.
Having met with the End Child Poverty Coalition to discuss the issue, I have added my voice to calls on the UK Government to recognise the scale of the problem. The SNP Scottish Government is doing everything it can to address the shortfalls in the Tory Government’s welfare system, introducing additional payments such as the Scottish Child Payment and Child Winter Heating Assistance. But while Westminster still holds the purse strings there is only so much we can do to help the thousands of Scottish children living in poverty.
The UK Government need to come up with a credible plan to end child poverty. Their damaging plans to slash Universal Credit payments by £20 per week will leave thousands of families across Scotland worse off, entrenching poverty and inequality.
The Tories are making the same mistakes they made after the last economic crisis, with massive cuts causing child poverty to soar. Westminster has shown it cannot be trusted with Scotland's recovery. The only way to build a strong, fair and equal recovery is for Scotland to become an independent country - with the full powers to create jobs, boost incomes and tackle poverty and inequality head on.
Judith Cavanagh, End Child Poverty Coalition Coordinator said:
“We can all agree what a good, healthy, happy childhood looks like. But without a comprehensive plan to end child poverty we will continue to see rising numbers of children cut adrift - experiencing shame, social isolation and missing opportunities to participate fully in life in and outside of school. We are urging the Government, as part of a plan to end child poverty, to prioritise increasing children's benefits and to not take money away from families in the autumn, with their planned £20 cut to Universal Credit.“