One Parent Families Scotland response to new First Minister’s priorities
First Minister Humza Yousaf today announced in the Scottish Parliament the priorities of the new Scottish Government over the next three years.
- Marion Davis, OPFS Director of Policy, Strategy and Communications
A paper outlining these, ‘Equality, Opportunity, Community. New leadership – a new start’ has been published today.
Director of Policy, Strategy and Communications for One Parent Families Scotland Marion Davis said:
“We welcome First Minister Humza Yousaf’s comments today which reflected the importance of equality as one of the new Scottish Government’s three core missions.
“We are pleased that this included a commitment to develop a more progressive tax system, which we and other anti-poverty organisations have called on as a key mechanism for reducing the inequalities which single parents so often find themselves at the sharp end of.
“The First Minister’s pledge to build a system of school-age childcare and develop a funded early learning and childcare offer for 1- and 2-year-olds by 2026 will be vital to supporting single parent families, as will the commitment to help parents into work through employability support.
“We ask the government to progress these plans urgently, and to ensure that they are delivered flexibly in a way that works for families, as these are investments which can have a transformative and long-lasting impact on reducing child poverty rates by supporting parents – particularly mothers – into employment.
“The continued commitment to expand on Free School Meals to all primary school children will make a significant difference to low-income families once rolled out. We would ask that the government to go further still by ensuring that all children whose parents are entitled to the Scottish Child Payment can access Free School Meals and School Clothing Grants, in recognition that such families are on an exceptionally low income and should not lose out on vital supports.
“We are also encouraged by the government’s ongoing investment in the Scottish Child Payment, which is already improving families’ lives. We would argue that this will need to be increased further to meet the government’s targets on reducing child poverty, and that support should be targeted at groups who face the highest levels of poverty and who have borne the brunt of UK social security cuts, such as young parents.
“We warmly welcome the commitment from the Deputy First Minister to continue the work with the NACWG (National Advisory Council on Women and Girls) to ensure the gains are made for women’s equality in Scotland we all want to see.
“We look forward to working with the government in the coming months to ensure that the needs of single parent families are reflected as these policies are delivered and expanded upon.”