Doubling Child Payment may not be enough to hit poverty target, expert warns

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The Scottish government may still miss its interim goals of reducing child poverty, a group that advises ministers has warned, despite Nicola Sturgeon cutting principal payments aimed at helping poor children. announced doubling.

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The First Minister told the SNP conference that Scottish child pay was to be increased from £10 per week to £20 per week from April 2022.

While she said tough choices would have to be made in next week’s Scottish budget to pay for it, she insisted the move was “undoubtedly the boldest and most ambitious anti-poverty measure anywhere in Britain”.


Currently, parents of about 105,000 young people under the age of six receive the payment, which has been brought in by the Scottish government, but will be rolled out to all children under the age of 16 in poor families by the end of next year. Will be done. ,

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Poverty has to be tackled along with addressing climate change

Bill Scott, Chairman, Poverty and Inequality Commission

The Scottish Government has estimated that nearly one in four (24%) young people are living in relatively poverty – 240,000 children are affected.

But the law passed by Holyrood stipulates that by 2030-31, less than 20% must live in relative poverty – and that the proportion should be reduced to 18% by 2023-24.

Bill Scott, chairman of the Poverty and Inequality Commission, said modeling and data suggested the Scottish government “might still miss” that interim target, despite an increase in Scottish child payments.

He said that if the UK government had not ended the £20 per week raise for Universal Credit introduced at the start of the COVID pandemic, effectively reducing household income by £1,000 a year, “we would Can make now”.

Speaking to PA Scotland news agency, Mr Scott said: “It is unfortunate that they are going to miss the interim target, the Commission believes, so we need to look at investment in other sectors, not That only Social Security.”

He stressed that there is “the political will to see this happen in Scotland”, highlighting not only an increase in Scottish child pay, but the government’s decision to double free childcare for three and four-year-olds and free school meals. is to expand.

Mr Scott said it would have been better if Universal Credit’s rise had remained in place, meaning “those families would have had a real jump in their income”, rather than an increase in child payments. only to compensate for the loss”.

And while he said he does not believe an increase in Scottish child payments can be brought in any time before April 2022, he warned that many families are “going to face a harsh winter” with rising fuel bills and inflation. In stores is also leading to higher prices.

He stressed that the commission, which was set up in 2019 to advise ministers on tackling poverty and inequality, believed that more urgency was needed to tackle the problem.

Mr Scott said: “We need to move faster, or else we will miss the target in 2030 which is really important.”

And he argued that tackling poverty should be given the same importance as tackling climate change.

“To address climate change, poverty has to be tackled,” he stressed.

“This is what is needed to concentrate the mind on what we need to do.”


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