Child poverty on the rise in Kirkcaldy

Pic: John DevlinPic: John Devlin
Pic: John Devlin
Child poverty in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath has risen by 3% since 2015 according to research published this week.

The study, by the End Child Poverty coalition, highlights that the number of children living in poverty in the constituency has steadily risen from 4706 in 2014/15 to 5293 in 2018/19.

These alarming figures show that 29.2% of all children in the area are living below 60% median income after housing costs.

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The study also shows that child poverty in Fife as a whole, has risen from 24% in 2014/15 to 26.3% in 2018/19 – up 2.4%.

The data shows the scale of the challenge faced by UK, Scottish and local government – as well as frontline community groups such as The Cottage Centre and Linton Lane – if commitments to end child poverty in Scotland are to be met and the promise to level up opportunities for children across the country are realised.

The research carried out by Loughborough University shows that levels of child poverty in Scotland ranged from one in seven children in the Shetland Islands to nearly one in three in Glasgow.

The coalition is calling on the UK Government to recognise the scale of the problem and its impact on children’s lives. It is urging UK Ministers to set out an ambitious plan to use Westminster powers to tackle child poverty, and asking the Holyrood government to build on the Scottish child poverty delivery plan already in place.

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John Dickie, speaking on behalf of members of End Child Poverty in Scotland said: "An ambitious plan to put this shameful situation right would be transformational for millions of children in Scotland and across the UK.

"As a matter of urgency we are calling on the Chancellor not to go ahead with planned cuts to Universal Credit which would see families lose out on £1000 a year. Given today’s data, this cut is unconscionable.

“Here in Scotland the Holyrood government’s child poverty delivery plan and prioritisation of the new Scottish child payment are hugely welcome.

"But these new figures highlight the importance of keeping housing costs affordable, the importance of reviewing the value of the Scottish child payment and the urgent need to use existing payment mechanisms, like local authority school clothing grants, to provide extra financial support to families right now.”

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