New statistics on child poverty unacceptably high across Scotland and the UK
One Parent Families Scotland (OPFS), a member of the End Child Poverty coalition, has joined its partner organisations in calling for urgent political action in response to the latest child poverty figures.
A new report and data on child poverty across the UK was published by End Child Poverty today (5 June) based on research by Loughborough University.
The data shows that 29% of children in the UK and one in four children in Scotland were living in poverty in 2021/22.
OPFS supports End Child Poverty’s calls and notes that children in single parent families are at particular risk of poverty, with the latest Scottish Government data putting the figure at 38%.
There are still far too many children living in poverty in Scotland, with some areas faring far worse than others.
In the six areas where OPFS provides local services, the percentages of children living in poverty after housing costs are:
- Dundee: 27.1%
- Edinburgh: 19.5%
- Falkirk: 25.3%
- Glasgow: 32%
- North Lanarkshire: 26.6%
- South Lanarkshire: 22.8%
- Satwat Rehman, OPFS Chief Executive
One Parent Families Scotland Chief Executive Satwat Rehman commented:
“Sadly, the high rates of poverty in the local authority areas in which we deliver services come as no surprise to us. We regularly hear from single parent families in crisis, struggling to meet even the most basic living costs. Benefit levels are simply too low to support families facing soaring food prices and childcare and energy costs.
“We and our End Child Poverty coalition partners are asking the UK Government to take urgent action by scrapping policies like the two-child limit in Universal Credit in order to reduce these unacceptable levels of poverty across the UK. At the same time, we are calling on the Scottish Government to do what it can to mitigate this harmful policy through a Scottish Child Payment top-up for larger families.
“We also know that children with single parents and those with a mother under 25 are at the sharp end of these statistics, with poverty rates well above the national rate. This is why One Parent Families Scotland is also calling for the UK Government to scrap their policy of paying under 25s less in Universal Credit than over 25s and urging the Scottish Government to mitigate this discriminatory policy by providing a top-up to the Scottish Child Payment for young parents.
“The new UK-wide local child poverty statistics show that Scotland has lower child poverty rates than England and Wales, and we know that the Scottish Child Payment is already making a big difference to struggling families. However, the Scottish Government urgently needs to do more to lift children out of poverty. It not only has a moral responsibility to do so, it is legally obliged legal responsibility to meet the targets set by the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act by 2030”.
We are calling for:
- local authorities to maximise family incomes and reduce costs;
- the UK Government to scrap unfair and discriminatory UK benefit policies such as the two-child limit on Universal Credit and the ‘Young Parent Penalty’
- and the Scottish Government to mitigate the effects of these policies on low-income families.