Levels of child poverty are on the rise in parts of Scotland and have been described as “staggering” by the director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG).
The latest figures on the subject suggest that there are eight local authorities in which child poverty levels are above 25 per cent and some in which rates are as high as 40 per cent or more.
John Dickie from the CPAG lays much of the blame for the situation at the door of the UK government but also insists that more should be done by politicians in Holyrood to support low-income families across Scotland.
“There is no question rising child poverty is driven by UK government social security cuts but Scottish ministers must act now with the utmost urgency to introduce their promised Income Supplement,” Mr Dickie has said.
“Families struggling now cannot wait years for this vital additional support,” he added. “These aren’t just statistics. These are children going hungry, missing out on school trips, unable to enjoy the activities and opportunities their better off peers take for granted.”
Many of the districts most badly impacted by child poverty are in Glasgow, with the city as a whole having a 37 per cent poverty rate among its children and young people.
Among the areas suffering most is Glasgow Southside, the constituency represented by first minister Nicola Sturgeon, where child poverty rates are as high as 46 per cent, according to figures from a campaign coalition called End Child Poverty.
Jackie Brock, chief executive of the charity group Children in Scotland, lamented the fact that an extra half a million children have entered poverty across the UK since 2010 and described that trend as a “damning indictment of a social security system which has failed children and failed families”.
She added: “The Scottish government’s commitment to introduce a new family income supplement is welcome, but today’s figures show that too many families cannot afford to wait until 2022 to see this support. Early implementation is essential.”
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The Scottish government has committed to spending £64 million next year to help people in all parts of the country reduce their energy bills.
Ministers of the UK government have committed to phasing out the £20 uplift in the regular payments made via the Universal Credit system.
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