Children’s lives being "damaged, diminished and cut short,” say campaigners as Child Poverty report published

May 9, 2009

Responding to the publication today of a Joseph Rowntree Foundation report highlighting the one in five children in Scotland still living in poverty, John Dickie, head of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:

“We must remember this is not just about statistics, it’s about over 200 000 real children whose lives are too often being damaged, diminished and cut short because their parents, despite their best efforts, have to bring them up on hopelessly inadequate incomes. This report highlights just how vital it is that governments in Holyrood and Westminster work together to keep their promises to end this child poverty scandal.”

“After last months desperately disappointing Budget the UK government needs to do everything it can to use the next Pre Budget Report to make the investment in child benefits and tax credits that is needed to come as close to meeting the 2010 target to half child poverty as possible. But the Scottish Government also needs to ratchet up its action to meet its anti-poverty commitments. With so many families suffering ever greater pressure, commitments to extend free school meal entitlement to all Primary 1 to 3 children and to children in families receiving maximum Working Tax Credit are more important than ever. But we also need action to boost school clothing grants and remove the other additional charges that too often mean our poorest children miss out at school.”

“And to meet the 2020 target to eradicate child poverty it is crucial that Scottish, UK and local government ratchet up the investment and co-ordination needed to tackle the childcare barriers, low pay and employer inflexibility that too often means work is not the route out of poverty it should be and to develop the safety net needed to protect all children, whether their parents are in paid work or not.”

Notes for editors
  • Contact John Dickie, Head of CPAG in Scotland on 0141 552 3656 or 07795 340 618
  • Child Poverty Action Group’s manifesto, published in March 2009
  • CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.
  • CPAG is one of over 150 member organisations of the Campaign to End Child Poverty, campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goals of halving child poverty by 2010 and ending child poverty by 2020 are met.