The SNP has welcomed the publication of the Scottish Government’s Child Poverty Strategy, which seeks to tackle the causes of poverty through early intervention – as figures showed the UK Government’s welfare cuts could force another 100,000 children into poverty in Scotland by 2020.
The strategy seeks to improve the life chances of children by taking action on educational attainment, health and early years development, maximising household resources and improving children’s environment through community empowerment and regeneration.
However, the strategy also has an increased focus on mitigating the effects of Westminster’s welfare reforms, which it has been suggested could set progress on tackling child poverty back by ten years. Figures published by the Child Poverty Action Group make clear that 100,000 more children in Scotland could be pushed into poverty by 2020 by UK Government policies – highlighting the need for Scotland to take its own decisions on welfare.
Figures from the House of Commons Library published this weekend confirm that Scotland’s welfare bill has grown at a slower rate than the rest of the UK – showing that Scotland can more than afford a fair welfare system.
Commenting, East Kilbride MSP and member of the Welfare Reform Committee, Linda Fabiani said:
“The publication of the Child Poverty Strategy is an important step in fighting the scourge of child poverty in Scotland – and the focus on working families as well as those who are unemployed is welcome.
“However, the conclusion that another 100,000 children in Scotland could be pushed into poverty by 2020 due to the UK Government’s welfare cuts is deeply worrying and highlights the choice of two futures facing Scotland.
“A No vote means a continuation of Westminster’s welfare cuts and a generation of Scottish children facing poverty.
“A Yes vote means that rather than simply mitigating Westminster’s unfair welfare policies we can take action to create a fairer society – delivering a comprehensive childcare package to allow more women into work and the establishment of a Fair Work Commission to ensure a minimum wage that rises at least in line with inflation every year.”