Child Poverty Strategy Launched
13 March 2014
Plans to tackle child poverty in Scotland have been published,
as new analysis shows that 80,000 children from working families
are living 'below the bread line'. Scottish Government
statistics show that over half of the children living in poverty,
or 52 per cent, are from households where at least one adult was
working. For two parent families with children living in poverty,
this increases to nearly three quarters - or 72 per cent. 'Relative
poverty' is where household income is less than 60 per cent of the
average. For a couple with two children that means living on less
than £20,500 a year.
Poverty Strategy for Scotland: Our Approach 2014-17' was
developed in consultation with the Ministerial Advisory Group on
Child Poverty. The strategy aims to tackle the causes of poverty by
addressing them early, through actions including:
- Maximising household resources through advice on welfare and
benefit changes, help to find employment and managing debt.
- Improving every child's life chances through actions on
educational attainment, health and early years development.
- Making sure children's environment is suitable through actions
on housing, regeneration and community empowerment.
The strategy outlines measures to provide help for hard-pressed
working families as well as those who are unemployed as pressures
from Westminster welfare reforms increase.
While there has been a reduction in recent years, figures in the
strategy show that child poverty in Scotland is set to increase to
levels previously seen in 2003/04 due to the impacts of welfare
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon launched the strategy. Ms
"We know that work can reduce the risk of poverty, but work is not
always enough on its own.
"This strategy continues our preventative approach aimed at
maximising household resources, improving children's life chances
and providing sustainable places.
"However we now have an increasing focus on mitigating against the
harmful effects of Westminster welfare reforms. These changes to
the system will not only impact on the most vulnerable in our
society - they will also set progress back at least ten
"It's frustrating, when so much work has been done, to see Child
Poverty Action Group highlight 100,000 more children in Scotland
will be pushed into poverty because of these unfair policies by
"In an independent Scotland we would have the powers to provide
one of the most comprehensive child care packages in Europe which
would allow more women to work. We would also be able to set up a
commission to consider a new 'Scottish Minimum Wage' - which would
at least rise in line with inflation.
"That's why we need the full powers of independence to create a
different approach - one that supports our most vulnerable,
encourages people into the workplace and provides a fair day's pay
for a fair day's work."