Joseph Rowntree Foundation: Child poverty in Scotland report

Last updated at 05:26
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The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is urging the Scottish government to introduce new 'game-changer' plans to help reduce child poverty.

A new report from the organisation says that, "poverty in Scotland is rising, from an already unacceptably high level. More people are facing situations where they cannot afford the basics nor play a full role in society."

According to the latest official figures, just over one million people in Scotland are living in poverty, including 240,000 children - which is the same as one in four children.

Many charities have warned that child poverty is becoming the new normal in parts of the UK.

Child poverty in Scotland

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The Resolution Foundation, who have also been involved with the study, predict that poverty will rise to 29% by 2023-24. They say this is because of cuts to financial support and help from by the UK government, called social security.

Child poverty in Scotland fell in the early 2000s, but it has risen since 2013, and now children in Scotland are at an increased risk.

Earlier this year, the Scottish Government announced it will be bringing in a new Scottish Child Payment - which is a plan for the government to give money to low-income families with children aged six and under, starting in early 2021.

But today's report explains why this plan alone will not be enough for the Scottish Government to reach its target of reducing child poverty to 10% by 2030.

Scotland has legal child poverty targets, which must be reached by 2030, and there is currently much attention on how Scotland will achieve these.

To reach the child poverty targets... we need a number of ambitious solutions across work, housing and social security.

The Resolution Foundation

How does Scotland compare to the rest of the UK?

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Poverty measured before housing costs (things like rent or mortgage, energy bills and council tax) is very similar between Scotland and the rest of the UK. However, when poverty is measured after housing costs there are significant differences in poverty levels, with lower levels in Scotland than in the rest of the UK overall.

This is mainly because, on average, houses cost less in Scotland than in the rest of the UK.

However, the report warns that the Scottish government needs to focus on increasing the amount of affordable houses in the country.

The latest data shows that 20% of Scots are in poverty after housing costs compared with 22% in the rest of the UK. This difference is biggest for children whose poverty rate currently stands at 24% in Scotland compared with 30% in the rest of the UK.

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