Child poverty map shows shocking levels of hardship across Scotland

15 October 2014

The Campaign to End Child Poverty has today published figures that provide a child poverty map of Scotland. The new statistics, released during Challenge Poverty Week in Scotland show levels of child poverty at local authority and ward level for MP’s constituencies.

According to the new figures, one in three children in Glasgow live in poverty, while more than a quarter of children in five other local authorities are also growing up in poverty: Clackmannanshire (26%), Dundee (28%), East Ayrshire (26%), Inverclyde (26%) and North Ayrshire (27%).

A further two authorities, West Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire, have levels of 25% each. Poverty levels are high in rural communities too with nearly one in five children in the Western Isles and Argyll and Bute affected. Even in the local authority with the lowest level of child poverty, Shetland, the figure is one in 10 children.

This is the first time local child poverty has been mapped after taking housing costs into account. These new figures look at the extent of child poverty based on disposable income after meeting housing costs – an essential family expenditure – which shows the real, hidden extent of the number of families struggling to make ends meet.

In Scotland 220,000 children are living in poverty, one in five of the child population, and this could soon rise.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty is calling on the UK government to rethink tax and benefit policies that are set to drive up to 100,000 more children in Scotland into poverty.¹ The child poverty campaigners are also urging Scottish and local government to ratchet-up delivery of the Child Poverty Strategy.

With the new statistics also highlighting the extent to which housing costs push families into poverty, they are calling for local and national housing policy to focus on keeping rents down in both the private and social sector.

Neil Mathers, a spokesperson for the Campaign to End Child Poverty, said: “These figures reveal just how widely and deeply child poverty reaches into our communities. It’s important we look behind these figures at what is driving this level of poverty in our country.

“Politicians of all parties, at Westminster and Holyrood, need to act to tackle the root causes of poverty, including low pay and soaring housing and childcare costs.

“There is nothing inevitable about this poverty. We must build on the good work that is happening in Scotland to support families.

“These figures, released during Challenge Poverty Week and just days after the STV Appeal raised more than £2m to tackle child poverty in Scotland, reinforce the urgent need for more action.

“We know there is ambition in Scotland to do more. We now need to act so that all our children have a fair start. We can and must do better for our children.”