Communities Secretary Angela Constance has said that the Tories’ record on rising child poverty should be “front and centre” of voters’ minds when they head to the ballot box a week today.
With the Scottish Parliament set to debate the Scottish Government’s Child Poverty Bill today, Ms Constance accused the Tories of trying to “sweep child poverty under the carpet” by abandoning child poverty reduction targets – and vowed that the Scottish Government would do everything it could with the powers of the Scottish Parliament to reverse the trend of rising poverty.
With many Tory cuts still to take effect, Ms Constance will warn that low income families face a stark future and said that the Scottish government is fighting child poverty with one arm tied behind its back.
Speaking ahead of the debate, Angela Constance said: “The Institute of Fiscal Studies forecast that child poverty in the UK will reach over 5 million by the end of the next Parliament due to array of damaging policies the Tory UK government introduced in their time in office. This is not only alarming, its utterly shameful.
“The Tory Government at Westminster is trying to sweep rising child poverty under the carpet by scrapping child poverty targets – as well as abolishing its child poverty unit and taking away the child poverty part of its social mobility commission.
“Our Child Poverty Bill will make Scotland the only part of the UK with statutory targets to reduce child poverty by 2030, and commits us to publishing regular Child Poverty Delivery Plans which will be report on annually.
“This builds on the significant long-term investments we making to give Scotland’s children the best possible start in life – including the Best Start Grant, the Baby Box, a transformational increase in good-quality childcare provision, ensuring every P1-P3 (all children in Primary 1, 2 and 3) is entitled to a healthy free school meal and putting extra money and teachers into schools in the poorest areas.
“So long as we have a Tory Government at Westminster pursuing an ideologically-driven assault on low-income households, the SNP Government will be fighting poverty with one hand tied behind our back – but we will continue to do everything we can with the powers of the Scottish Parliament.
“Rising child poverty should be front and centre of voters’ minds when they elect MPs next week. While any Tory MPs elected will simply rubber-stamp further Tory cuts to social security and to Scotland’s budget, SNP MPs will stand up for Scotland and for a fairer system.
“Now more than ever, Scotland needs strong voices standing up for Scotland Westminster.”
This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP).