Children to miss out on basics at Christmas

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Action for Children has blamed Tory austerity for a rise in child poverty in Scotland

6th December 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

A charity is warning of Dickensian levels of poverty, with children across Scotland set to miss out on the basics this Christmas.

Action for Children said a decade of austerity “has caused almost unrecognisable levels of poverty” in Scotland’s communities and a shocking number of children will be deprived of basics such as warm winter clothing, fresh food or celebrations this Christmas.

The charity cited official government figures suggesting 100,000 Scottish children aged 10 or below are in families with low incomes and material deprivation.

Paul Carberry, Action for Children’s director for Scotland, revealed the charity’s frontline services have seen a 30% rise in families seeking financial advice in the last three years.

He said: “Every day our staff see first-hand the impossible choices that families living in practically Dickensian levels of poverty have to make.

“Our services are helping thousands of families keep their heads above water through budgeting, providing a meal or making sure they get help from foodbanks.”

Echoing recent findings by UN poverty guru Philip Alston and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Carberry said Westminster policies are to blame for an increase in poverty.

“Inequalities in health and life-expectancy remain as prevalent and after a decade of Tory austerity, the dramatic rise in the use of foodbanks tells its own sad story,” he said.

“While the Conservative government claims that the era of austerity is over, it is impossible to see the evidence of this.

“Their policy agenda has caused almost unrecognisable levels of poverty in communities the length and breadth of Scotland.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “We want every child to have the very best chances in life. There are now one million fewer people living in absolute poverty since 2010, including 300,000 children.

“With this government’s changes there are a near record low number of children in workless households in Scotland, boosting their prospects in life. Household incomes have never been higher, income inequality has fallen and taxes are down for families and businesses.”