Nicola Sturgeon unveils plans for a new Child Poverty Bill
Nicola Sturgeon and Naomi Eisenstadt - photo credit: Scottish Government
Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans for a new Child Poverty Bill, saying the Scottish Government “must do all we can to tackle the inequality that still exists in 21st century Scotland”.
The new laws will aim to improve the life chances for every Scottish child, outlining a new approach in addressing the deep-rooted causes of child poverty that build upon the SNP’s established Child Poverty Strategy.
Having previously rejected Westminster’s abandonment of income-based child poverty targets, the laws seeks to develop Scottish policy following the repeal of large parts of existing UK-wide legislation.
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A consultation setting out proposals for the Bill will be published over the summer.
Speaking at the Prince’s Trust earlier today, the First Minister said: “By repealing large parts of the Child Poverty Act 2010, including the income-based child poverty targets, the UK Government has signalled that they do not see child poverty and the incomes of poor families as priorities.
“With the introduction of this new legislation, the Scottish Government is sending the message, in the strongest possible terms, that we profoundly disagree.”
The Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland welcomed the announcement, urging the Government to include ambitious targets for the reduction and eradication of child poverty in the legislation.
John Dickie, director of the CPAG, said, “This is excellent news in the drive to eradicate child poverty given the UK government’s abandonment of statutory child poverty commitments.
“With one in five of Scotland’s children still living in poverty it is vital that the new Bill includes ambitious targets as well as duties to measure and report on progress and a strategic framework that will hold national and local government to account.”
The announcement came as Sturgeon revealed the re-appointment of Naomi Eisenstadt as the Scottish Government’s Independent Poverty Advisor for a further 12 months.
Eisenstadt stated,: “This legislation will maximise the chances that all people living in Scotland lead productive and healthy lives. We need to stop the cycle of poverty and prevent the next generation of young people being born into poverty.”