TORY AUSTERITY ‘HOLDING SCOTLAND BACK’ ON CHILD POVERTY, SAYS MP

25th January 2018

NEW REPORT SHOWS DAMAGE OF AUSTERITY ON SCOTTISH CHILDREN

Marion Fellows, MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, has said the Tory UK Government’s austerity cuts are holding the Scottish Government back and pushing Scots’ children into poverty following a recent report from the End Child Poverty Coalition (ECPC).

The report revealed that in the Motherwell and Wishaw Westminster constituency, 5,137 or 26 per cent of children live in poverty after housing costs with 17,922 amounting to 25 per cent across North Lanarkshire.

Scotland has been outperforming the UK with 23 per cent compared to the UK average of 27 per cent.

The ECPC has called on the UK Government to end the freeze on children’s benefits including child benefit, child tax credit and the child element of Universal Credit which it says is a major contributor to the child poverty crisis in the UK

Commenting, Marion Fellows said:

The Tory UK Government’s austerity obsession is holding Scotland back from eliminating child poverty. Our children are paying the price while the Tories’ friends, donors and the wealthy get richer.

The SNP Scottish Government has been doing what it can with the powers it has including establishing a £50million child poverty fund and expanding free childcare and early learning so that parents are able to work to support their family.

The Scottish Government is also mitigating against welfare cuts including the Bedroom Tax, maintaining Council Tax Benefit, and increasing the child allowance within the Council Tax reduction scheme helping 140,000 children across Scotland.

The SNP’s efforts have ensured Scotland is miles ahead of the UK on tackling child poverty. But we aim to do more.

It is clear with greater powers at their disposal, the UK Government must act by reversing austerity so that children can be lifted out of poverty rather than being pushed into it.