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Child Poverty in Scotland — [Sir David Crausby in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Hugh Gaffney Hugh Gaffney Labour, Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 2:30 pm, 30th October 2019

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered child poverty in Scotland.

I thank all Members who have taken the time to come to this important debate. We all came into the House seeking to improve the lives of children and young people. That is why some of our most passionate debates are about childcare, education and apprenticeships. We often share the same goal, but perhaps disagree on the policies needed to achieve it. That is why I am holding this debate.

None of us wants any child to live in inadequate housing, or to be stuck in temporary accommodation. None of us wants to see any child going hungry to school or during the school holidays, or having to rely on food banks. None of us wants to see any child fall behind in their education and be denied opportunities as a result. We all agree that no child should live in poverty or be denied the best start in life—but too many children live in poverty across Scotland. I hope that the debate gives us the chance to reaffirm a sure commitment to eradicating child poverty, and that we are able to have a serious discussion about which policies work, which policies need changes, and which new policies need to be implemented to achieve our shared goal of ending child poverty.

One million people live in poverty across Scotland, and 240,000 of them are children. That means one in four children in Scotland now lives in poverty. It is truly staggering to think that so many children in our constituencies live in poverty.