SNP MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde Stuart McMillan has welcomed the Scottish Government’s newly launched consultation on ending child poverty. The consultation comes ahead of the Child Poverty Bill which will be introduced next year and will form part of the overall approach to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland.
The Scottish Government aims to eradicate child poverty – and this consultation asks for comments on the proposals to introduce four statutory income targets seeking to drastically reduce child poverty by 2030, as well as how existing work can be strengthened.
These next steps will build on the range of work the Scottish Government already has underway to tackle poverty and inequality, such as the commitment to the Living Wage, free school meals, expansion of funded early learning and childcare, and the Scottish Attainment Challenge.
Commenting on the consultation launch, Stuart said:
“The launch of this consultation shows that the Scottish Government is taking vital action to tackle poverty and inequality across Scotland.
“I am delighted to see the Scottish Government taking this active approach to end the blight of child poverty. Tackling deep-seated inequalities is the job of all society so we need everyone across local authorities, business, the third sector and those who experience poverty to work together. As the constituency MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, I have met with many third sector organisations locally that provide a great service to local people. As they are the people dealing with these issues on a daily basis, I would really encourage them to contribute to the consultation.
“The Child Poverty Bill consultation will allow further evidence and ideas to emerge, helping to build on efforts already underway – such as free school meals, a commitment to the Living Wage of £8.25/hour, the Scottish Attainment Challenge and duties to tackle inequalities of educational outcome due to socio-economic disadvantage.
“The Scottish Government sees child poverty as a priority – and this Bill consultation shows that the SNP in Government will work hard to end the cycle of poverty in Scotland once and for all.”
To access the consultation, click the following link – https://consult.scotland.gov.uk/social-justice/consultation-on-a-child-poverty-bill-for-scotland
The consultation asks for comments on the Scottish Governments proposals to introduce four statutory income targets:
•Fewer than 10% of children live in relative child poverty, after housing costs (AHC) by 2030
•Fewer than 5% of children live in absolute child poverty, AHC, by 2030
•Fewer than 5% of children live in low income and material deprivation, AHC, by 2030 and
•Fewer than 5% of children live in persistent poverty, AHC, by 2030
The proposal to set targets on an AHC basis – i.e. taking housing costs into account – means that the targets are significantly more ambitious than the original income targets scrapped by the current UK Government.
The consultation also asks whether there are additional or alternative measures of poverty that should be consider; and how particular elements of the Scottish Government’s approach – including our existing measurement framework and advisory structure – could be strengthened.