Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

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.

Alert me about debates like this

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

Yes. I will come on to two-child cap poverty.

History shows that we can tackle child poverty in Scotland. The largest falls in the poverty rate recorded in the past 20 years were among pensioners and children. From the late 1990s, child poverty across Scotland fell significantly because of the policy choices made by the Labour Government. The Labour Government redesigned the welfare state with the purpose of tackling child poverty, which is why policies like child tax credits and the national minimum wage were introduced. Those policies were designed to target the underlying causes of child poverty, such as low pay. The success of the Labour Government in reducing child poverty highlights the fact that it can be done when there is the political will and the right policies.

We need to show that political will, because the impact of poverty on children is simply unacceptable. Children living in poverty suffer greater health and social outcomes than their better-off peers. Children living in poverty are much more likely to suffer health problems, such as poor mental health and wellbeing, and obesity. They are more likely to lag behind in reading, writing and numeracy. Child poverty affects not just childhood, but individuals throughout their whole life.