Scottish Minister Affirms Child Poverty Goals Still Reachable Despite Challenges

Scotland remains on a course to hit its child poverty objectives, although the task is “challenging,” the Social Justice Secretary has asserted.

Related posts

In the wake of new statistics unveiled on Thursday, Shirley-Anne Somerville spoke out. The figures indicated that in 2022-23, 260,000 children—that’s 26 percent—were caught in the snare of relative poverty in Scotland.

This number has seen an increase, rising by roughly 30,000 from the year before, once housing costs are factored in.

Prompted by these numbers, advocates for combating child poverty have reiterated their plea for the Scottish Government to ramp up the Scottish child payment to £40 weekly, a significant jump from the current £25 and the planned £26.70 starting April.

On the BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland show on Friday, Somerville expressed her belief: “We do think we can hit our statutory poverty goals, there’s no denying they’re gonna be tough.”

She was reminded that the Fraser of Allander Institute has pointed out that Scotland isn’t on pace to reach the interim child poverty target of 18% for 2023/24.

The ultimate goal, set by law, is to trim down relative child poverty to 10 percent by the year 2030.

Somerville acknowledged the difficulty: “They’re challenging, no question about it. But we’ve mapped out a credible route to achieving those targets. That’s backed by a robust £3 billion in spending.”

She emphasized the Scottish Government’s commitment to deploying all within its power and budget to fight child poverty, while also accusing the UK Government of policies that “push people into poverty”.

She highlighted the recent hikes in the Scottish child payment as evidence of the gravity with which the issue is treated by the Scottish Government.

Nicola Killean, the Children and Young People’s Commissioner, chimed in: “There’s real worry these targets won’t be met, and I believe these figures are a rallying cry. More must be done by the UK and Scottish administrations.”

She supported the calls for a greater increase in the Scottish child payment and urged governments to employ “multiple levers” to effectively tackle child poverty.

Share this:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts