New legislation aims to tackle child poverty in Scotland

Scotland is set to bring forward legislation to tackle the '˜deep-rooted' causes of child poverty.

Wednesday, 20th July 2016, 12:55 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:06 pm
New bill aims to combat child poverty in Scotland. Credit: Ian Georgeson.
New bill aims to combat child poverty in Scotland. Credit: Ian Georgeson.

The move, which will see consultations for the new bill published over the summer, was announced today (Wednesday) by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

The new Child Poverty Bill aims to set out a new approach to tackling poverty and inequality.

It will also provide a clear way forward for delivering the Government’s ambition to eradicating child poverty.

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The First Minister also announced she was re-appointing Naomi Eisenstadt as the Scottish Government’s Independent Poverty Advisor for another 12 months.

The Scottish Government previously rejected the UK Government’s decision to abandon income-based child poverty targets.

And it wants to develop Scottish legislation after the UK Government repealed large parts of the existing UK-wide legislation.

A consultation setting out proposals for the Bill aims to build on the existing work from the Child Poverty Strategy.

The First Minister said: “It is simply unacceptable that children are growing up in poverty and we must do all we can to tackle the inequality that still exists in 21st century Scotland.

“While we have made progress as a government through the Child Poverty Strategy, it’s clear from feedback from my Independent Poverty Advisor, Naomi Eisenstadt, and others that we must keep striving to do more.

“The consultation and Bill will allow us to refine our approach and ensure it best meets the needs of those who so desperately need it.

“By repealing large parts of the Child Poverty Act 2010, the UK Government has signalled they do not see child poverty and the incomes of poor families as priorities. That is fundamentally wrong. With the introduction of this new legislation, the Scottish Government is sending the message, in the strongest possible terms, that we profoundly disagree.”

Naomi Eisenstadt, the Independent Poverty Advisor, said: “We need to prevent the next generation of young people being born into poverty.