Commissioner responds to Scottish Government statement on child poverty

In response to today’s Ministerial Statement on tackling child poverty, Children and Young People’s Commissioner Scotland, Bruce Adamson said:

“Last week I called on the Scottish Government to bring forward implementation of the Family Income Supplement and I’m pleased to see the announcement today that the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment, at £10 a week, will be brought forward for children under 6.

“Child poverty is the most significant human rights issue facing children in Scotland. Living in poverty affects every aspect of a child’s life, including their educational attainment and mental and physical health.

At present, almost a quarter of children in Scotland are living in poverty and that requires a number of urgent legislative and policy measures to alleviate and eradicate it. This includes the incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Children in Scots law and the implementation of the recommendations presented by the Poverty and Inequality Commission. It is important to integrate human rights and antipoverty strategies to generate better results to those children and young people living in poverty.

“I am pleased to see the Scottish Government taking action to reduce the number of children in poverty, however I would like to see the extension of the Scottish Child Payment for all children to be brought forward as soon as possible.  I am also concerned that the proposed application process might present a barrier to some families.

“Later this week the Special Rapporteur on Poverty and Human Rights, Professor Philip Alston will discuss this and other important issues with a group of children from Scotland before his presentation to the UN Human Council in Geneva. This discussion is part of his report on the UK where he highlighted the impact of welfare reform and, in particular Universal Credit on child poverty.”

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