Evidence mounts on need for a Holyrood boost to family benefits to meet Scotland's child poverty targets

March 5, 2018

MEDIA RELEASE 

  •  IPPR's call for a "down payment" toward child poverty targets "could not be more timely", say campaigners 
  • "Ministers must now choose how, not if, to use top up powers to boost family incomes" 

 Responding to the publication today of  a new IPPR report on the costs of reducing child poverty in Scotland, John Dickie, Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said;  

 "Today sees yet more independent analysis setting out the urgency of using Holyrood 'top up' powers to boost family incomes as part of wider action to end child poverty. With one in four children now living in poverty the respected IPPR think tank's call for a "down payment" toward meeting child poverty targets could not be more timely." 

 Mr Dickie continued: 

 "Along with the Catholic bishops, Church of Scotland Moderator, unions, children's charities and the Childrens' Commissioner we have made the case for an immediate £5 top up to child benefit as the simplest and most effective way of boosting family finances. Now the IPPR along with the independent Poverty and Inequality Commission have highlighted the potential of increasing universal credit in a targeted means tested approach. What is absolutely clear is that doing nothing is not an option. Minister's must now choose how, not if, to use new social security powers to help end child poverty. The longer they leave it the harder it gets for tens of thousand of families across the country, and the more costly it will be for us all to meet the government's targets."

 ENDS

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

 Notes

 ·        Child Poverty Action Group works on behalf of the one in four children in Scotland growing up in poverty. It doesn’t have to be like this. We use our understanding of what causes poverty and the impact it has on children’s lives to campaign for policies that will prevent and solve poverty – for good. We are leading expert providers of second tier social security advice, information and training.

  • The 2017 Child Poverty (Scotland) Act sets four legally binding income based targets for the reduction of child poverty, with a headline target to reduce relative child poverty to less than 10% by 2030  (down from 26% (260 000) in 2015/16)
  • The IPPR Scotland report "How much would it cost to reduce child poverty in Scotland?" is published Monday 5th March at www.ippr.org/scotland copies available under embargo from r.gunson@ippr.org

 ·         The Poverty and Inequality Commission was set up by the Scottish Government to provides independent advice to Scottish Ministers on reducing poverty and inequality in Scotland and to scrutinise the progress that is being made. It’s advice to Ministers on the forthcoming child poverty delivery plan required by the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act can be found at   https://povertyinequality.scot/publications/ .

·         Give Me Five is a coalition of faith groups, children’s charities, anti-poverty groups and trade union groups and supported by the Children and Young People’s Commissioner, campaigning for the Scottish Government to top up child benefit by £5 per week. It believes the Scottish Government should use its powers to commit to top up child benefit by £5 a week for every child, and in doing so, not only lift 30,000 children out of poverty, but help to increase the incomes of all families across Scotland. http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/give-me-five-child-benefit-top-campaign