Child Poverty Set To Increase
13 June 2013
The Deputy First Minister has welcomed official poverty
statistics published today that show that the number of children
living in relative poverty has fallen in Scotland between 2009-10
However, she warned that there is no room for complacency in
light of estimates suggesting that more than 50,000 children are at
risk of being pushed into poverty in Scotland by 2020.
She pointed out that the figures do not take into account the
full impact of the UK Government's welfare reforms. The
figures also show a fall in average household earnings in Scotland
over two years from £461 per week to £436.
Ms Sturgeon said:
"These figures released today - while welcome - present a
complex picture in terms of understanding child poverty in
"While the number of children in poverty fell in 2011-12
compared to the previous year, this decrease was the result of an
overall drop in average household incomes across the UK.
"We know that the UK Government's welfare reforms are already
having a significant impact on Scotland's children, with further
damaging changes still to take effect. These figures
take into account the environment in 2011-12, but a number of
changes have been made since then.
"These measures include changes to eligibility for child tax
credits and working tax credits, which could, on average, mean that
households will become around £700 per year worse
"While we must continue to do everything we can with the powers
and resources we have, there is no doubt that a much greater
ability to tackle the scandal of child poverty will be one of the
big prizes of independence. This will of course take time, and no
one is suggesting it will be easy.
"In an independent Scotland, we could take welfare decisions
that would ensure fair and decent support for people. Over time we
could create a system that would encourage those who can - and
should work - into work, but also support people who are unable to
work, allowing them to play a full and active part in society, and
help to tackle poverty where it exists.
"Only with access to our own resources and the ability to join
up policy across devolved and reserved areas, can we make the
substantial difference we need to and tackle child poverty for
Source: Scottish Government