Priorities to tackle child poverty

Date: 5th September 2023
Category: General measures of implementation

no poverty graphic

CPAG has published a briefing outlining key policies the Scottish Government must prioritise to tackle child poverty. CPAG has called on Scottish Government to reflect these priorities in its Programme for Government 2023-24 and to allocate sufficient resources in the 2024-25 Budget.

One in four children in the UK are living in poverty. The Scottish Government has committed to meet the target of less than 10% of children living in poverty by 2030. However, CPAG says the current policy package is not sufficient to do this.

CPAG is calling on the Scottish Government to allocate more resources to welfare benefits for families to protect them against the rising cost of living crisis. These specific calls include:

  • Increase the Scottish child payment to £30 at the very least as committed by the First Minister in his leadership programme.
  • Ensure sufficient resources are harnessed and allocated to fund the wider measures set out in the statutory child poverty delivery plan - Best Start, Bright Futures.
  • Provide additional cash payments to families impacted by the two-child limit and the under 25 penalty in universal credit.

Child poverty was a central issue the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child noted with deep concern during the UK’s child rights review. The Committee made specific calls for the UK and Scotland to tackle child poverty and protect children’s rights to basic health and welfare. In the Concluding Observations published in June 2023, the UN Committee made various recommendations such as developing policies, ‘with clear targets, measurable indicators and robust monitoring and accountability mechanisms, to end child poverty and ensure that all children have an adequate standard of living, including by increasing social benefits to reflect the rising cost of living and abolishing the two-child limit and benefit cap for social security benefits’.

The UN Committee also recommended that the UK and devolved nations incorporate a child rights-based approach into the state budgeting process and ‘to implement a tracking system for the allocation, use and monitoring of resources for children, with a view to eliminating disparities and ensuring equitability, and assess how investments in all sectors serve the best interests of children.’