Nicola Sturgeon has demanded the next UK government take “real and determined action” to tackle child poverty by setting a legal target for ending child poverty and introducing new payments specifically to help children living in poverty.
Latest DWP figures show that 30% of children across the UK are in poverty after housing costs – a damning condemnation of the Tory government.
On the same measure, while child poverty in Scotland has risen since the start of Tory austerity-driven welfare cuts, including the benefit freeze and two-child cap – it is lower in Scotland at 24% as a result of Scottish Government actions to mitigate the impact of a Tory government.
SNP MPs will demand a package of action on child poverty, including:
- The introduction of a new benefit that will reduce child poverty, learning from the Scottish Child Payment described as a “game-changing” by anti-poverty campaigners;
- Re-establishing UK-wide legal targets for ending child poverty targets, abolished by the Tories;
- Establishing a Poverty and Inequality Commission to provide expert advice on using Westminster powers to tackle poverty and to report on progress.
The Scottish Government invests over £1.4 billion a year to support low income households, including £100 million a year to protect people from the worst aspects of Tory policies that push people into poverty.
Speaking ahead of a campaign visit to Edinburgh South, Nicola Sturgeon said: “Brexit will hit those on low incomes the hardest, which is why it is so vital that we escape Brexit and protect those already struggling.
“But even before Brexit, the Tories have a shameful record on poverty – their approach has even been condemned by the United Nations.
“They knew austerity would be so bad that they scrapped their targets to reduce child poverty.
“The SNP has taken decisive action to tackle child poverty, and our groundbreaking new £10 a week Scottish Child Payment could lift 30,000 children out of poverty when fully rolled out.
“SNP MPs will demand the next UK government match our ambition, stop making poverty worse and follow our approach – lifting incomes up instead of pushing them down.
“A vote for the SNP in this election is a vote to get rid of the Tories, escape Brexit and have a choice over our future so we can protect families from Tory welfare cuts and bring an end to poverty across Scotland.”
Disclaimer: This is an official press release from the Scottish National Party (SNP). Opinions expressed in this article are those of the SNP only and may not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Welfare Weekly and/or its writers.