Poverty and Inequality Commission says Scottish Government’s progress in tackling child poverty needs to get back on track following the pandemic
Following today’s Ministerial Statement on Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan – Fourth Year Progress Report (2021-22), the Poverty and Inequality Commission (PIC) today releases its latest report titled, ‘Child Poverty Delivery Plan progress 2021-2022: Scrutiny by the Poverty and Inequality Commission’.
The report finds that while some progress was made by the Scottish Government during 2021-2022 in delivering on major commitments such as the Scottish Child Payment, and funded early learning and childcare, the action taken is very unlikely to be enough to meet the 2030 child poverty targets.
Commitments made in the 2022-2026 Child Poverty Delivery Plan should help the Scottish Government make progress towards meeting the 2023 relative poverty interim target. Increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £25 per week is likely to have the biggest impact. But the cost of living crisis will make it much harder to meet the absolute poverty and low income and material deprivation interim targets, and further action is needed now if the 2030 targets are to be met.
The Scottish Government’s cumulative impact assessment acknowledges that meeting the 2030 targets will require an unprecedented reduction in child poverty of a further eight percentage points, which is unlikely to occur without considerable changes to the drivers of poverty.
The Scottish Government cannot wait until the next Delivery Plan in order to identify what more is needed as it will be too late to implement the kinds of the transformative policies that will be required in order to meet the final targets.
Within its report PIC outlines its recommendations for the Scottish Government to meet its targets including action at pace and scale, focusing on implementation, publishing robust data and evidence about impact, and engaging closely with PIC to ensure vital progress is made.
Link to full ‘Child Poverty Delivery Plan progress 2021-2022: Scrutiny by the Poverty and Inequality Commission’ is available here – Poverty & Inequality Commission Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2021/22 – Poverty & Inequality Commission (povertyinequality.scot)