Children and Young People’s Commissioner Bruce Adamson fully supports calls for a lump sum cash payment of £250 for families on low incomes:
“Poverty and food insecurity were the biggest human rights issues facing children in Scotland before the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken to protect public health have had a disproportionate impact on children in poverty.
“These latest figures from Trussell Trust showing a sharp increase in food parcels for children are deeply worrying.
“The right to food – to be free from hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition – cuts to the heart of human dignity.
“Human rights aren’t a matter of charity. The Scottish and UK Governments have a legal duty to ensure an adequate standard of living. Every hungry child in Scotland is a failure by those in power who could have done more.
“We need to put more urgent support in place to avoid what the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has warned may be the grave physical, emotional and psychological effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on children.
“Direct payments to families on low incomes is the most dignified way of ensuring that children do not return to education in a much worse physical and mental health.
“The Scottish Government must accelerate available measures to address food insecurity, inadequate housing and digital exclusion.
“Direct cash payments to families on low incomes is the most dignified way that the Scottish Government can support them through this pandemic. The over 120,00 children currently eligible for school meals must be provided with cash payments until they are able to get that food provided full time at school. Supporting families by providing an additional £250 cash payment for those on low incomes can, be achieved using existing mechanisms to ensure there is no delay to families who are in desperate need.”