Child poverty measures welcomed, but more to do

Reacting to the Scottish Government’s publication of its Child Poverty Delivery Plan, Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance said:

“Child poverty is unjust and unnecessary. It’s a sign of Scotland’s commitment to compassion and justice that there are stretching targets to end it.

“A clear message from Poverty Alliance members ahead of the  new plan was to ‘put money in people’s pockets’. Commitments to increase the Scottish Child Payment to £25 by the end of this year and to mitigate the unjust benefit cap are therefore welcome. With one in four children in Scotland still growing up in the grip of poverty, and the rising cost of living meaning that many more families are being swept into hardship every day, this new plan needed to set out how we can do more to protect people from harm.

“On the back of the Chancellor’s failure of a Spring Statement yesterday, we needed to see real commitments that will make a positive impact on the lives of people on low incomes. Alongside the mitigation of the benefit cap, the expansion of employability support that provides tailored support to families can help to make that impact.

“However, there is significant scope to go much further to ensure that cash makes it to those who most need it. There is clear evidence that increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £40 would have an even greater impact in unlocking families from poverty and take us closer to the target of eradicating child poverty by 2030.

“The rising tide of poverty sweeping across the country demands that the actions contained in this Plan are not the peak of our ambitions, but merely a start. Our efforts cannot and must not cease.”

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