Intense child poverty affects affluent areas

Child poverty web

Poverty groups have called for local action after a study revealed pockets of deprivation across the country

15th March 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Some of the most affluent areas of Scotland have pockets of intense child poverty, researchers have found.

A study by Glasgow Caledonian University has shown that although authorities such as East Renfrewshire are considered prosperous, they still contain areas where people live in deprivation.

Child poverty groups have said that the analysis proves the need to tackle poverty at both a local and national level.

The research found that two thirds of children who are classed as poor live outside areas which are considered deprived.

More than 100 parts of the country were identified by researchers as having more than half of children living below the poverty line.

The North Barlanark and Easterhouse South areas of Glasgow were found to have more than 70% of children growing up in poverty.

Barrhead, in East Renfrewshire, Hillhead, in Kirkintilloch, East Dunbartonshire, and Peterhead, in Aberdeenshire, were cited as examples of pockets of household poverty of 30% or more in what are generally considered affluent areas.

Professor John McKendrick, who led the study, said that although poverty is not everywhere across Scotland, the evidence suggests it is more widespread than might be thought.

“Even within those local authorities with the lowest levels of child poverty in Scotland, there are pockets of intense child poverty in which more than one in every four children are living in poverty,” he said.

“This suggests that even in most of the affluent neighbourhoods there are some people who are living on an income that means that they are not able to afford what the majority of people in Scotland would agree that the majority should be able to afford.”

“It is clear from this research that people are struggling to get by right across Scotland,” said Peter Kelly of the Poverty Alliance.  

“As the research confirms, most people living on low incomes in Scotland don’t live in areas usually classified as disadvantaged. That’s why the new Child Poverty Act is so important, putting a new responsibilities for local authorities and health boards to show what they are doing to address poverty.”

John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, said local action is needed to ensure families have the resources to give their children a decent start in life.

He said: “Too many children are missing out on school trips and activities, are struggling to afford bus fares to access opportunities their better off peers take for granted, and in too many cases are going hungry.

“At the same time parents still struggle to find the childcare and decent jobs that would make work a better route out of poverty, and too many are missing out on the benefits and tax credits that they are entitled to. Local action can help address all these issues.”