Poverty and Inequality Commission Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2023-24

4 June 2024

The Poverty and Inequality Commission has published its Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2023-24. The report sets out the Commission’s view on progress in 2023-24 towards meeting Scotland’s statutory child poverty targets.

Download Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2023-24 Executive Summary (pdf, 1.27MB)

Download the full Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2023-24 (pdf, 3.12MB)

This year, the Commission focused its scrutiny by looking more closely at the Scottish Government’s ‘priority family types’. These are the six family types that are at higher risk of poverty. The Commission worked with eight organisations who work directly with people from priority family types to get families’ views on their awareness of Scottish Government policies designed to reduce poverty, how well they felt these policies were working, and what else they felt was needed.

The Commission’s report makes four recommendations for the Scottish Government:

  • Recommendation 1: The Scottish Government should convene and lead a national cross-party and civil society agreement to develop a shared six year strategy to meet the 2030 child poverty targets. This cross-party approach should consider the choices that need to be made around tax and spending.
  • Recommendation 2: The Scottish Government should reprioritise funding to ensure that the necessary resources are made available to deliver both its existing commitments and future actions to tackle child poverty. This will require the Scottish Government to reprioritise budgets across portfolios and consider the eligibility criteria for different services and support.
  • Recommendation 3: The Scottish Government should act quickly on the recommendations set out in the Commission’s report How better tax policy can reduce poverty and inequality.
  • Recommendation 4: The Scottish Government should clarify and further develop how the priority family types are used to inform policy development, implementation and monitoring in policy areas related to the three key drivers of poverty.

In preparing its own annual child poverty progress report, the Scottish Government must consult the Poverty and Inequality Commission on the progress that has been made towards meeting the child poverty targets and what more is needed. The Scottish Government’s Best Start, Bright Futures Tackling Child Poverty Progress Report 2023-24 can be found here.

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