Child poverty benefit to be fast-tracked


The Scottish Government is set to respond to a plea made by civil society for instant support to be made available to Scotland's poorest families

26th June 2019 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Support for Scotland’s poorest families is set to be fast-tracked by politicians.

Earlier this week, representatives from across civil society wrote to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to speed up the introduction of a new income supplement to tackle child poverty.

And an announcement on the early introduction of the family income supplement is set to be made later today.

A progress report on child poverty to be published by the Scottish Government will set out a different path to UK Government austerity.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “As the only country in the UK with ambitious income-based targets to eradicate child poverty, Scotland is firm in the belief that we can do better, and we will.

“That is why today I will set out to parliament the progress we have made in the past year on child poverty and our next steps.

“Our actions stretch right across government to help people on low incomes at every stage of life.

“From new devolved benefits offering support during pregnancy through to starting school, promoting the real living wage and ensuring everyone has a warm, secure place to call home we have a concerted and clear strategy.

“It is a long-term commitment to the people in Scotland who need the help the most.”

On Monday, campaigners said the legislation for the new benefit should be included in the next programme for government, with an interim version put in place during the process.

The supplement was not due to be introduced until 2022, but campaigners say that is too far away for families living in poverty, and want to see legislation included in the next Programme for Government and an interim version to be delivered ahead of legislation being passed.

Research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and the Institute for Public Policy Research Scotland has found that the equivalent of one classroom of children a day – a school a month – are being pulled into poverty in Scotland.