Douglas Hamilton – Head of Save the Children in Scotland
The significant reduction in child poverty in Scotland revealed in the National Statistics publication earlier this month shows some major progress. Despite this, the numbers are still unacceptably high and there is much more work to be done. It does show that it is possible to tackle child poverty when the political will is there and the right actions are taken.
However, spending cuts and high unemployment means that such progress will be shortlived.
The number of children growing up cold and hungry because their parents can’t afford basic essentials is set to rise in Scotland over the next eight years – wiping out all the progress that has been made. This would be an appalling legacy to leave our next generation.
Now is not the time to be arguing about definitions of poverty, it is a distraction and won’t help Scotland’s children. The UK Government must stop these spending cuts which are pushing families deeper into poverty and do much more to ensure parents can get decent and well paid jobs. In Scotland, it is vital that the Child Poverty Strategy is followed through to make sure that everything that can be done is being done within our own devolved powers.