Scottish child poverty campaigners respond to ‘State of Nation’ report

  • “Nothing inevitable about rising child poverty” say CPAG in Scotland “It is largely a result of real term cuts to tax credits and benefits”
  • Failing to meet targets to end child poverty by 2020 does not mean child poverty can’t be eradicated
  • Family benefits need protected and action in Scotland taken to keep housing costs down and tackle the education attainment gap

The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland today responded to the publication of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission’s ‘State of the Nation 2014’ report.

The Director of CPAG in Scotland, John Dickie, said;

“The rising child poverty that this report highlights in Scotland is no surprise, but that makes it no less shocking. Behind the dry statistics are tens of thousands of children whose health will be damaged, education undermined and life chances cut short because their parents don’t have the resources they need. There is nothing inevitable about rising child poverty– it is largely a result of real term cuts to tax credits and benefits that in Scotland alone are set to push up to 100 000 more children into poverty by 2020.

“We must never accept that failing to meet targets to end child poverty by 2020 means child poverty can’t be eradicated. With the right policies, the right time-frame, and the right level of political will we can eradicate child poverty in Scotland and the rest of UK just as other European countries have.

But it means fundamentally rethinking cuts to family benefits and tax credits, and here in Scotland building on the Commission’s very welcome reflections to keep housing costs down, tackle the educational attainment gap and ensure local authorities and their partners are doing everything within their powers to prevent child poverty.”

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

  • The Child Poverty Act 2010 commits all governments to four child poverty targets (i) to reduce relative child poverty to 10 per cent by 2020 (ii) to reduce absolute child poverty to 5 per cent by 2020 (iii) to reduce a combined measure of relative child poverty and material deprivation to 5 per cent by 2020 (iv) to reduce persistent child poverty by 2020. The CPA was passed in 2010 with broad cross-party support.
  • Official child poverty data lags by two years. However, analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies projects both current and 2020 child poverty rates for Scotland In Scotland alone up to 100 000 children will be pushed into poverty by 2020. Figures drawing on www.ifs.org.uk/bns/bn144.pdf (p27 table B.2 Column 1) The proportion of children living in relative child poverty (after housing costs (AHC) is forecast to increase from 19.6% in 2011/12 to 26.2% in 2020 – up to 100 000 additional children pushed into poverty by 2020. Using the government’s preferred ‘before housing costs’ measure the forecast increase is from 14.8% to 20% - around 50 000 more children in poverty.
  • CPAG is the leading charity campaigning for the abolition of child poverty and for a better deal for low-income families and children.