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Scottish child poverty hotspots revealed

10 January 12 08:58
Children in Glasgow

Action is needed to tackle "shameful" levels of child poverty in parts of Scotland, campaigners have urged.

It comes as figures suggest 13 Scottish councils have wards where more than 30% of children live in pockets of severe poverty.

The worst areas were in Glasgow, the west of Scotland, Edinburgh, Dundee, Fife, Aberdeen and Stirling.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty warned inflation, unemployment and cuts could see levels of deprivation spiral.

The group has produced a map of child poverty for every ward, council and constituency.

John Dickie, speaking on behalf of Scottish members of the Campaign to End Child Poverty, said: "It is shameful that in almost every part of our country there are children who are missing out and seeing their future life chances seriously harmed.

"With public spending budgets under severe pressure the need to invest to prevent the numbers of children living in poverty spiralling is greater than ever."

'Stark reminder'

The map classes children as living in poverty if they are in families on out of work benefits or work tax credits where income is less than 60% of median - before housing costs.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty said the latest official figures showed that overall in Scotland 20% of children live in poverty on this measure.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "We are determined to address the root causes of child poverty.

"That's why last year, we launched Scotland's first ever national strategy to tackle child poverty, which will see Scotland's poorest families benefit from help to increase their household incomes and improve their children's life chances."

Labour social justice spokesman Drew Smith said work was the best route out of poverty.

He added: "That is why as well as investment in the vital early years and improving childcare, we need a renewed focus on creating jobs and implementing a Living Wage for Scotland."

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesman Liam McArthur said: "In light of this report, and the effect that unemployment has on levels of poverty, it is more clear than ever that effective collaboration at all levels of government is required to help ensure the right conditions for creating jobs and reducing unemployment in our communities."

Scottish members of the Campaign to End Child Poverty include Action for Children Scotland, Barnardo's Scotland, Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, Children 1st, the Church of Scotland, One Parent Families Scotland, Poverty Alliance and Save the Children.

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