OPFS response to Scottish Government Budget 2024/25
On 19 December, Finance Secretary Shona Robison MSP announced the Scottish Government spending plans for 2024-2025.
One Parent Families Scotland welcomes key commitments to tackle child poverty in the Scottish Government budget announcement but says much more can – and must – be done to support children in low-income families.
One Parent Families Scotland Director of Policy, Strategy and Communications Marion Davis said:
“There are many positive steps in this Budget, but we are disappointed that the Scottish Child Payment was not uplifted to £30, and there was no mention of support targeted at children living in young parent and larger families who face the highest rates of poverty.
“We understand the budget constraints facing the Scottish Government at this challenging time, however, there is always room for choices to be made on how to prioritise and allocate funds.
“There were a few key announcements which will be a huge help for struggling single parent families, such as the one-off fund to write off school meals debt. Boosting incomes and reducing costs like school meals and school clothing for more families will be needed to prevent people falling into debt in future. Moreover, school meals debt is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the debts facing families today.
“The government’s plans to raise income tax on higher earners through a new tax band is extremely welcome and we hope this will translate into greater investment in actions to meet the Scottish Government’s targets to reduce child poverty, as well as in vital public services.
“We are disappointed that, alongside this, the government is going to freeze Council Tax. Whilst it is welcome that this will be fully funded, this money could have been directly invested into anti-poverty measures which would have a more meaningful impact.
“We hope the government and MSPs reviewing this budget will support increased investment in policies which will achieve a sustainable approach to tackling poverty for those who need it most, in keeping with the values which Finance Secretary Shona Robison so powerfully spoke of in her budget speech”