"Far more ambitious approach needed" say child poverty campaigners as Scottish welfare bill progresses

May 16, 2012

Responding to the publication today of the Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee’s Stage 1 Report on the Welfare Reform (Further provision) (Scotland) Bill, head of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, John Dickie, said:

“This is just the first stage in getting Scotland’s response to UK welfare reform right and the Committee’s recommendation that stakeholders should be actively engaged in shaping and amending the detailed regulations that will determine whether families are entitled to vital support like free school lunches and fuel poverty programmes is welcome.

However we need to see a far more ambitious approach from Scotland’s politicians to grasp this opportunity and improve the support government in Scotland offers families as UK welfare cuts bite, wages stagnate and food and fuel prices soar.

CPAG, along with many others, is urging MSPs to ensure that receipt of any Universal Credit or PIP will generally be enough to passport families onto benefits like free school meals. With consultation and detailed regulation still to come it’s not too late to get that message across. It really is vital that new entitlement rules avoid the early cliff edges and work disincentives created if support is withdrawn just as parents enter work or begin to increase their incomes.”

ENDS

For further comment contact:

John Dickie, Head of CPAG in Scotland, on 0141 552 3656 or 07795 340 618

Notes to Editors

  • The Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee’s Stage 1 Report on the Welfare Reform (Further provision) (Scotland) Bill can be found at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittee...
  • CPAG in Scotland oral evidence to the Committee can be found at http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=696... and additional written evidence here.
  • For up-to-date background facts and stats on poverty in Scotland see our briefing.
  • Up-to-date background facts and stats on UK poverty here
  • 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 the host organisation for the Campaign to End Child Poverty, which has over 150 member organisations and is campaigning for public and political commitment to ensure the goal of ending child poverty by 2020 is met.