New Scottish child poverty strategy: “Welcome ambitions must lead to increased action”

March 10, 2014

Responding to the launch of the new Scottish child poverty strategy by the Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today John Dickie, head of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland said;

“The focus of the strategy on maximising family resources and improving children’s wellbeing is welcome as is the increased attention paid to tackling the damaging ‘attainment gap’ that means children growing up in poverty too often get less out of our education system than their better off peers.

It’s vital that that these ambitions now lead to increased action at every level of government and across our public services and labour market. The strategy must be backed up by a clear delivery plan setting out exactly who is going to do what, and by when, with a clear framework for measuring success and a mechanism to hold every arm of government to account for the progress made. The one in five children in Scotland whose lives are being undermined by poverty deserve nothing less.”

ENDS

For further details and interviews please contact John Dickie, Head of CPAG in Scotland, on 0141 552 3656 or 07795 340 618

Notes to Editors

1. The new Scottish child poverty strategy is published today 10 March at http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/03/5304

2. CPAG in Scotland in partnership with the Open University in Scotland, Glasgow Caledonian University and the Poverty Alliance will launch a ‘state of the nation’ book Poverty in Scotland 2014; the independence referendum and beyond this Thursday 13th March. The publication draws together the expertise of academics, anti-poverty campaigners and other experts both in Scotland and internationally. It seeks to inform the terms of debate in the run up to the independence referendum, providing the latest facts and figures, setting out the anti-poverty cases of the Yes Scotland and Better Together campaigns, and exploring how other regions and nations have sought to tackle poverty and inequality within a variety of constitutional settlements and in the context of demands for further autonomy. More detail available on request.

3. Latest independent forecasts by the IFS suggest up to 100 000 more children will be pushed into poverty by 2020. the percentage of Scotland's children living in poverty will increase from 19.6% in 2011/12 to 26.2% in 2020. see J Browne, A Hood, R Joyce, Child and working-age poverty in Northern Ireland over the next decade: an update, Institute for Fiscal Studies, 2013. Appendix A: Table B.2 for Scotland figures.' http://www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn144.pdf

4. CPAG in Scotland is a leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty in Scotland and across the UK and for a better deal for low-income families and children.