First Minister’s child poverty commitment is welcome – but more work needs to be done

Responding to the First Minister’s speech about new Scottish Government child poverty forecasts, Peter Kelly – director of The Poverty Alliance – said: “It’s good that the First Minister has taken the chance to highlight his responsibility to reduce the numbers of children living in unjust poverty in wealthy Scotland. It’s a responsibility that lies on all political leaders in Scotland and the UK, and especially those in Holyrood who voted unanimously to put our child poverty targets into law.

“Today’s Scottish Government modelling shows that the interim targets are in reach. That’s something to celebrate, and it shows how anti-poverty policies can make a real difference. But the anti-poverty movement were right to point out that this week’s Scottish Budget will make it harder for us to reach our final targets in 2030, and today’s published model doesn’t project that far ahead. Independent research says that to reach that goal, the Scottish Child Payment needs to reach £40 a week. We were very disappointed that the Budget didn’t even invest enough to reach the £30 level that we believed the First Minister had signed up to during his leadership campaign.

“The First Minister is right that we need action at Westminster to raise Universal Credit so that it pays enough to guarantee the essentials of life, and to scrap unjust and ineffective policies like the bedroom tax and the two-child limit. We will be making that demand in the run-up to the next General Election, and we will also continue to push the Scottish Government to play their part. Together, we can end child poverty.”

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