‘Progress welcome but critical that Ministers now ratchet up action on child poverty’
CPAG in Scotland has welcomed the Scottish Government’s latest annual report on Child Poverty but is calling for Ministers to now set out more clearly how current and future budgets and policies will target child poverty in an increasingly challenging climate.
The report, which the Scottish Government must publish each year, charts progress towards the eradication of child poverty by the year 2020. While this year’s report shows a 2% reduction in relative child poverty since 2011, massive increases in child poverty are forecast.
John Dickie, Head of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland said:
“Progress in reducing child poverty is welcome, as is the investment in the Scottish Welfare Fund, council tax support and income maximisation services described in today’s report. But with massive increases in child poverty now forecast as a result of UK tax and benefit policies it is absolutely critical that government in Scotland moves beyond describing existing policies and sets out how actions that can be shown to reduce child poverty are ratcheted up and rolled out across the whole country.
“Ministers need to demonstrate that policy and spending decisions across every arm of government, local and national, are contributing to reducing child poverty as well as be more ambitious in investing in policies, such as moving toward a more universal approach to free school meal entitlement, that they already recognise make an impact in both relieving pressure on hard pressed family budgets and improving children’s life chances”.