Action on child poverty
Annual report and consultation responses published.
There is overwhelming support for the government’s ambition to tackle the deep-rooted causes of child poverty, Equalities Secretary Angela Constance has said.
The majority of those who responded to the consultation agreed with the government’s plans to introduce long-term, ambitious child poverty targets.
It comes as the government’s annual report on the child poverty measurement framework is published, showing improvement in a number of areas, including:
- the employment rate gap between the most deprived areas and the rest of Scotland has narrowed
- the percentage of school leavers from the most deprived areas who are in positive destinations has increased
- the employment rate of parents has increased while the percentage of parents with low or no qualifications has decreased
During a visit to North Edinburgh Childcare in the Pilton area of the capital, Ms Constance also announced the Scottish Government would contribute of £40,000 to the Cash for Kids appeal which helps children who are disadvantaged through poverty, and helps groups and organisations that work to improve the lives of children in communities across Scotland.
On the report and consultation, Ms Constance said:
“It’s simply unacceptable that children are growing up in poverty in Scotland and that’s why tackling the issue is a key priority for this government.
“The aim of the consultation was to hear from organisations and people who deal with the effects of child poverty on a daily basis and understand what changes they see as vital to achieving our goal.
“It’s encouraging to get that feedback and to see overwhelming support for the proposals we consulted on, including setting ambitious statutory targets and publishing regular delivery plans and reporting annually. I will be bringing forward a Child Poverty Bill in the new year based on the consultation, ensuring that tackling child poverty in Scotland remains front and centre.
“The annual report shows an improvement in a number of areas, which is important as we seek to tackle the deep-rooted causes of child poverty. And for those areas where we can do better, we can use this report to help inform our approach and actions going forward.”
Ms Constance added:
“I am delighted to be able to announce a one-off contribution of £40,000 to the Cash for Kids appeal to help children in communities across Scotland.
“Cash for Kids works tirelessly the whole year round with children who are disadvantaged by poverty and support those groups and organisations who do what they can to improve the lives of children in communities across Scotland.
“Eradicating child poverty is not something the government can do alone – it’s an ambition that must be shared across the whole of Scotland, and we thank Cash for Kids for the part that they play in this.”
The consultation ran from 8 August to 30 September, and a total of 116 responses were received – 86 from stakeholder organisations and 30 from individuals:
Link to annual report: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/12/6196