IPPR Scotland has today welcomed publication of the Scottish Government’s new Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan. Among the measures welcomed by the think-tank, the Scottish Government has announced it will:
Further increase the Scottish Child Payment to £25 per week
Work with local authorities to mitigate the benefit cap
Aim to help 12,000 parents into work through the delivery plan’s actions, providing £81 million in 2022-23 to strengthen employment support for low-income families
The Scottish Government expects the measures in the plan to see child poverty fall to 17 per cent in 2023-24 which would meet the interim target of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017. While previous IPPR Scotland analysis has projected less optimistic outcomes the think-tank has been clear that any decrease will only be secured by moving quickly to implement new support and maximising the number of families accessing it.
Philip Whyte, director of IPPR Scotland said:
“Today’s plan contains several significant measures which will undoubtedly improve the lives of children and families across Scotland, and lift tens of thousands of children out of poverty. There are positive commitments across improving social security, driving down costs, and increasing employment - but the proof will now be in the delivery. It is vital these commitments are delivered as quickly as possible to provide the support low-income families need now.
“With further investment in the Scottish Child Payment, social security will do the heavy lifting required to meet Scotland’s interim child poverty targets – however, long-term we need to see more parents supported into secure and well-paid work to provide a sustainable route out of poverty. While several positive employment measures have been announced today, it is unclear how much of this is new funding. We await further details, but any new schemes must be delivered quickly so they can have the greatest impact.
“While the Scottish Government’s job has been made harder by the cost-of-living crisis and inaction of the UK Government, child poverty targets were agreed unanimously in recognition of the potential external pressures. There is a legal and moral duty to lift at least 210,000 children out of poverty between now and the end of this decade. While the delivery plan sets a positive course, more will still be needed in the years ahead to make sure every household in Scotland has a decent standard of living. Importantly, we shouldn’t just aim for the targets, but strive for a Scotland free from the blight of poverty.”