Children’s charities, anti-poverty groups, senior academics and leaders of Scotland’s Churches have called on the Scottish Government to use its budget – due to be published on Wednesday – to urgently deliver a new income supplement for families who are struggling to get by.
The calls were made in letters to Derek Mackay MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work – coordinated by the Give Me Five campaign – which urged the Scottish Government to respond to rising poverty rates by bringing forward the introduction of the income supplement, which is currently due to be introduced by 2022.
The letters have been sent at a time when one million people in Scotland, including 230,000 children, are living in the grip of poverty. They state that by introducing the income supplement through topping up child benefit, tens of thousands of children would immediately be lifted out of poverty.
John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland, said:
“These letters demonstrates the extraordinary breadth and depth of support across Scotland for an immediate boost to family incomes to help tackle the devastating hardship too many children are facing. The Scottish Government’s commitment to an income supplement by 2022 is hugely welcome, but families who are struggling to put food on the table and pay the bills now really can’t wait that long.
Along with faith groups, trade unions and children’s charities we urge the Finance Secretary to prioritise financial support for families as a matter of urgency. A £5 top up to child benefit would be one way of lifting thousands of children out of poverty and protecting many more from the damage poverty wreaks.”
- The letter from anti-poverty campaigners, children’s charities, trade unions and academics can be read here.
- The letter from church leaders can be read here.