Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP has demanded that the next UK Government take “real and determined action” to tackle child poverty by setting a legal target for ending child poverty and introducing new payments specifically to help children living in poverty.
Latest Department of Work and Pension figures show that 30% of children across the UK are in poverty after housing costs – a damning condemnation of the Tory Government.
On the same measure, while child poverty in Scotland has risen since the start of Tory austerity-driven welfare cuts, including the benefit freeze and two-child cap, it is lower at 24% as a result of SNP Government’s actions to mitigate its impact.
SNP MPs will demand a package of action on child poverty, including:
• The introduction of a new £10 benefit to reduce child poverty across the UK, following the SNP Government’s ground-breaking Scottish Child Payment described as a "game-changer" by anti-poverty campaigners;
• Re-establishing UK-wide legal targets for ending child poverty; abolished by the Tories.
• Establishing a Poverty and Inequality Commission to provide expert advice on using Westminster’s powers to tackle poverty and to report on progress.
The Scottish National Party (SNP) The Scottish Government invests over £1.4 billion a year to support low income households, including £100 million a year to protect people from the worst aspects of Tory policies that push people into poverty.
The First Minister said:
“The Tories have a shameful record on poverty and their approach has even been condemned by the United Nations.
"They knew austerity would be so bad that they scrapped their targets to reduce child poverty.
"The SNP has taken decisive action to tackle child poverty and our ground-breaking new £10 a week Scottish Child Payment could lift 30,000 children out of poverty when fully rolled out.
"SNP MPs will demand the next UK government match our ambition, stop making poverty worse and follow our approach – lifting incomes up instead of pushing them down.”
SNP Candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran Patricia Gibson added:
"A vote for the SNP in this election is a vote to get rid of the Tories, escape Brexit and have a choice over our future, including the right to choose independence, so that we can protect families and bring an end to poverty across Scotland."