Glasgow forecasts 50,000 children in poverty

Family poor

City forecasts sizable increase depite targeting a reduction in numbers 

16th April 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Scotland’s biggest city is failing to stem the rise of child poverty.

A report by Glasgow City Council reveals child poverty is expected to rise to 50,000 children over the next two years in the city.

The rise is forecast despite ambitious targets to reduce the figure by 2023 to less than 18% of children living in relative poverty.

That would mean taking 36,000 out of combined poverty in the next four years – a forlorn hope given the latest report.

A lone parent family with two children are defined to be living in poverty if they are living on less than £306 per week after housing costs have been deducted.

A two parent family with two children living on less than £413 a week after housing costs have been deducted are classed as being in poverty.

Welfare cuts, Universal Credit and in work poverty have been blamed for the worsening situation among the lowest income families. 

And worryingly almost half of all children experiencing poverty in Glasgow are living in a household where someone is working.

Child poverty is worst in Calton at 49% and least in Partick East/ Kelvindale at 11%. Just two out of 23 wards in the city are below 20%. With 21 out of 23 wards above the 18% target, there is little hope measures to reduce the issue are having any impact.  

John Dickie, head of Child Poverty Action Group Scotland, said that although Glasgow faces acute challenges, action at local level, like extending free school meals entitlement, increases to the school clothing grant and investment in childcare, benefits advice and information are all making a difference. 

He added: “The challenge now is to build on the good work under way in the city and ensure that the local authority and its partners do everything they can to ensure economic development and procurement activity is focussed on ensuring parents can access and sustain good quality jobs that allow them to give their children the best possible start in life.”

Allan Gow the city council’s treasurer, said the scale of the challenge for the council is significant.

“It is important to note that child poverty levels in Glasgow are expected to increase as a result of economic and welfare changes,” he said. “The levels of child poverty continue to be a serious issue in the city, with distribution of child poverty across the city varying from ward to ward.”

He added: “Reduced levels of Public Sector Finance Budgets is a key risk for reducing the levels of child poverty in the city. The public sector is facing more uncertainty and change in the years ahead in terms of funding.”