Child poverty campaigners call for decisive action from Prime Minister to stop welfare reforms further damaging children

November 2, 2016

• New research says Scottish households will lose £1billion more a year by 2020/21 as result of post-2015 UK welfare reforms

Responding today to new research for the Scottish Parliament that shows Scottish households alone will lose a further £1billion a year in benefit cuts by 2021, John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:

“Families with children have already borne the brunt of massive cuts since 2010, and child poverty is forecast to rise by 50% by the end of the decade. With families in and out of work already making impossible choices between paying the rent, meeting energy bills and putting food on the table it’s frightening to imagine the impact on Scottish households of losing a £1billion a year.”

“If the Prime Minister is serious about supporting families who are just about managing she needs to reverse the freeze on benefits, make sure support for families rises in line with inflation and abandon cuts to work allowances within universal credit.”

For more information contact John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland, jdickie@cpagscotland.org.uk , 0141 552 3656 or 07795 340 618

Notes
  1. The Social Security Committee of the Scottish Parliament today published research from Sheffield Hallam University on ‘The Impact on Scotland of the New Welfare Reforms’ .
  2. More information on the scale, nature. and causes of child poverty in Scotland can be found at http://www.cpag.org.uk/scotland/child-poverty-facts-and-figures
  3. More than one in five (220,000) of Scotland’s children live in poverty. And unless we act now, things will get worse. Independent modelling by the Resolution Foundation and the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) forecast massive increases in child poverty in Scotland, and across the UK.
  4. The effects of poverty are real and significant. When children grow up poor they miss out. They miss out on the things most children take for granted: warm clothes, school trips, having friends over for tea. They too often do less well at school and earn less as adults.
  5. As well as damaging children and families, poverty is a costly problem. Independent research commissioned by CPAG estimates that child poverty costs the UK at least £29 billion a year in extra pressure on public services that deal with the effects of poverty and, in the longer term, wasted economic potential.
  6. Eradicating child poverty will require sustained action by both UK and Scottish Governments. Yet despite the context of growing child poverty, the UK Government dismantled the UK Child Poverty Act 2010, removing key child poverty targets and wiping out the legislative commitment to eradicate child poverty in the UK by 2020. The UK government is also legislated to remove the UK and Scottish Governments’ binding duty to produce child poverty strategies every