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Report reveals more children pushed into poverty

This news post is about 8 years old
 

​Report shows more children pushed into child poverty in Scotland

A leading campaign group has said there is nothing inevitable about 60,000 more children living in poverty.

The social mobility and child poverty commission published figures showing Scotland had lost its position as the country with the lowest levels of child poverty in the UK despite 60,000 more children pushed into poverty last year.

Scotland however still has a lower level of relative poverty after housing costs.

The State of the Nation 2014 report is the second annual publication from the commission, which was established under the Child Poverty Act 2010.

The director of CPAG in Scotland, John Dickie, said rising child poverty is no surprise but that makes it no less shocking.

“Behind the dry statistics are tens of thousands of children whose health will be damaged, education undermined and life chances cut short because their parents don’t have the resources they need,” he said.

We must never accept that failing to meet targets...means child poverty can’t be eradicated - John Dickie

“There is nothing inevitable about rising child poverty– it is largely a result of real term cuts to tax credits and benefits that in Scotland alone are set to push up to 100 000 more children into poverty by 2020.”

Findings from the report showed there were 180,000 children in relative poverty in Scotland - 30,000 more than last year - while 200,000 children were in absolute poverty - also up 30,000 on the previous year.

Despite the increase in the numbers living in poverty, the report said that "progress in Scotland has been more rapid than elsewhere in the UK, particularly when looking at poverty after housing costs".

The proportion also showed pupils entering higher education from the most advantaged areas was 32.5%, compared to 9.7% in the most disadvantaged areas.

The percentages entering the highly selective "ancient universities" were 7.6% from deprived areas versus 16.9% from non-deprived areas.

The report said: "The Scottish government should also review the total financial support package for the most disadvantaged undergraduate and postgraduate students, particularly in relation to recent reductions in maintenance grants."

Scotland has a lower level of relative poverty before housing costs than Wales and Northern Ireland, but about the same as England.

Dickie added: “We must never accept that failing to meet targets to end child poverty by 2020 means child poverty can’t be eradicated.

“With the right policies, the right time-frame, and the right level of political will we can eradicate child poverty in Scotland and the rest of UK just as other European countries have.”

 

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