Ending child poverty must be at the heart of debate on Scotland’s future, say campaigners

7 March 2013

Commenting in advance of a keynote speech today (7 March) by Nicola Sturgeon on child poverty and the independence referendum members of the End Child Poverty coalition in Scotland have called on all sides in the debate to set out how their preferred constitutional settlement would create the conditions for a Scotland free of child poverty.

John Dickie, speaking on behalf of Scottish members of the Campaign to End Child Poverty (ECP) said.

“At the heart of the constitutional debate must be the basic question about what kind of society we want to live in. Is it a Scotland where child poverty is challenged and action is taken to end it? Or is it a society that continues to be marked by the shame of child poverty, one that undermines one in five childhoods and prevents children from reaching their full potential? Do we, in short, want a Scotland that values children and childhood? The debate about our constitutional future reminds us that there are real choices to be made about the future of our country and about the priority we give to measures to address child poverty."

The Deputy First Minister’s is speaking today at an event in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh at the first in a series of events being organised by ECP members to debate what the different constitutional options means for tackling child poverty in Scotland.

Mr Dickie added that members of ECP will pose a series of questions to the Deputy First Minister.

“How would parents be better able to access family friendly employment that pays a living wage? How would they receive improved support from the tax and benefit system and how would that be funded? Is the public and political support needed to end child poverty there to use the levers that independence would provide, and how can the referendum debate help build that support - wherever powers lie from 2014? These are just some of the questions we hope will be answered in the first of ECP’s events to discuss Child Poverty and the Constitution.”