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THERE IS NO JOB MORE IMPORTANT THAN ENDING CHILD POVERTY



Today (Wednesday 26) Scottish Labour’s Child Poverty Commission will hold its first meeting, as the cost of living crisis continues to pile pressure on families. Shocking figures show that nearly 65% of people in Scotland have cut back on essentials like heating or eating a meal and 26% of families have had to cut back on things their children need. The Commission was first announced at Scottish Labour’s spring conference as part of the party’s wider plan to tackle child poverty. It will set out a vision for meeting the child poverty targets and to develop proposals to ensure we take all steps necessary to meet them and work towards a country where child poverty is a thing of the past. The Commission will look at all aspects of policy and practice, identifying priority areas for change including; increasing income from work, providing decent homes and reducing housing and transport costs, supporting people who aren’t in work and protecting people furthest from economic equality like lone parents, disabled people, and ethnic minority families. The commission is led by co-chairs Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Associate Director for Scotland, Chris Birt. It comprises anti-poverty organisations and third sector representatives as well as politicians from both Holyrood and Westminster. Commenting ahead of the meeting, Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP, Scottish Labour’s Spokesperson on Social Justice and Social Security said:

“No level of child poverty is acceptable and there is no more important a job than ending it. In the midst of the worst cost of living crisis in living memory, we must go hard and fast to make changes people need now, as well as putting in place a plan that keeps people out of poverty in the longer term. Neither of our Governments are doing enough on this. That’s why we’re working with partners to put a plan together. “There are substantial powers available to get us towards the Child Poverty Targets, we must use every one of them. It will be the job of the Commission to explore how we do that and develop a plan that uses all the mechanisms available to the Scottish Parliament, to make sure we build a Scotland that guarantees everyone can live up to their full potential. “I’m delighted that many key experts in the field are helping shape Scottish Labour’s policy do this and am looking forward to working with them at the first meeting of the Child Poverty Commission today.

“We are embarking on a journey that will end with a clear set of policy interventions to lift and keep children out of poverty and within reach of realising their hopes and aspirations and I can’t wait to get started.” Chris Birt, Co-chair of the Commission on Child Poverty said: ”The current cost of living crisis underlines the importance of the Child Poverty Targets that the Scottish Parliament unanimously set in 2017. While the full rollout of the Scottish Child Payment should put child poverty back on a downwards trajectory there is clearly much more work to be done to meet those targets. “Ultimately, meeting these targets will mean a Scotland where children have the chance to explore their potential and live lives full of friendship, play, learning and love. It would also release parents and carers from the grip of poverty and the anxiety and strain that comes with trying to keep your family afloat. “As a result, I’m delighted to start working with our talented group of Commissioners to plot a course to meet the targets.”

 


Full list of Child Poverty Commission members:

Anna Richie Allan (Close the Gap)

Rachel Statham (IPPR)

Claire Telfer (Save the Children)

Peter Kelly (Poverty Alliance)

Polly Jones (Trussell Trust)

Roz Foyer (STUC)

Sarah Longlands (Centre for Local Economic Strategies)

Susie Fitton (Inclusion Scotland)

Chris Birt (Joesph Rowntree Foundation)

Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP

Daniel Johnson MSP

Martin Whitfield MSP

Alison McGovern MP



Link to Scottish Labour’s Child Poverty in Scotland Report: https://scottishlabour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/ChildPoverty.pdf

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