Call to double Scottish Child Payment
Scotland will again miss child poverty targets by some margin, plunging 210,000 children into despair.
A report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), says the “political failure” of the Scottish Government to fail to meet child poverty targets will have “a profound human cost.”
JRF recommends that the Scottish Child Payment is doubled as soon as possible and that the upcoming Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan sets out a clear and measurable course towards meeting those targets.
The report highlights a failure to make inroads into the significant levels of poverty among the priority groups for action as identified by the Scottish Government, including families from an ethnic minority background, families where someone is disabled, those with a child under the age of one and single parent households.
Chris Birt, the associate director of the JRF in Scotland said: “The Scottish Government has rightly set a national mission to end child poverty and has put in place steps to move us in the right direction.
“But we are on course to miss our targets by some distance. Such a political failure would have a profound human cost – tens of thousands more children will experience childhoods blighted by hardship and anxiety.
"It is time for the Scottish Government to stop walking and start running, by immediately doubling the Scottish Child Payment and by significantly increasing the scale and pace of its programme to support families in priority groups.
“The forthcoming Budget and Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan will be crucial in putting us on a path to meeting our targets.
“All tiers of government must look at the design and cultures that underpin public services.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “We will use every lever at our disposal in our fight to tackle child poverty, even when confronted by UK Government policies that take with one hand what we give with the other.
“The decision to withdraw the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift has come at the worst possible time and will impact 480,000 people in Scotland. We will not stop urging the UK Government to reverse this senseless decision.
“In contrast, we invested £2.5 billion to support low income households in 2020-21, with around £1 billion focused on supporting children.
“We are delivering a raft of measures including the Scottish Child Payment - the most ambitious anti-poverty measure currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK - and we will double it as soon as possible, setting out our plans in the forthcoming Budget.”