Child poverty report shows choice of two futures

As a report is expected to reveal that child poverty in the UK has gotten worse since the 1960s, it has become clearer than ever that Scotland is facing a choice of two futures in next year’s referendum.

Reports in today’s Observer make clear that the National Children’s Bureau is expected to say in a report next week that child poverty in the UK is now a bigger problem than in the 1960s.

The authors compared aspects of the lives of children today and compared them to those who were part of the seminal 1969 study ‘Born to Fail?’, and found that “overall the situation appears to be no better, and in some respects has got worse”.

A Parliamentary Question earlier this month revealed that despite requests from the Scottish Government, the Westminster Government had failed to make any robust assessment of the cumulative impact that welfare reforms will have on poverty reduction targets.

Commenting, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn who is the Deputy Convener of the Welfare Reform Committee said:

“The damning reports of what the National Children’s Bureau is expected to say are a timely reminder of just how badly successive Westminster Governments have failed when it comes to eradicating child poverty.

“It is simply not acceptable in a wealthy country like this for young people to face the lifelong disadvantages that growing up in poverty causes.

“With measures like the Bedroom Tax and other welfare reforms coming into effect, the struggle against poverty is only going to get harder.

“What is even worse is that we know the Westminster Government has not even bothered to assess what impact their welfare changes will have on poverty levels, an appalling reflection of how low a priority this is for them.

“Westminster’s repeated and systemic failure to tackle child poverty over the generations is the clearest demonstration possible why we need to be able to make our own decisions in Scotland.

“With a Yes vote in next year’s referendum, we can build a fairer, more prosperous country that does more than Westminster has ever managed to tackle the scourge of child poverty.”

Reports of Westminster’s failure on child poverty can be viewed at http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/aug/24/child-poverty-social-apar...

Westminster’s failure to conduct a robust assessment of the impact of welfare reform on poverty reduction targets can be viewed at http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2013/aug/westminster-must-end-silen...