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Scotland needs new child poverty targets say MSPs

Categories: Articles:Social Justice | Published: 24/05/2017 | Views: 999

Targets aimed at reducing child poverty in Scotland are too 'long range' according to a report issued today by the Scottish Parliament’s social security committee.

The Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill sets four income based targets against which child poverty in Scotland will be measured.

MSPs say they are concerned that the proposed targets are “too distant.” The committee recommends interim targets should be put in place in order to create the sense of urgency and focus needed to eradicate child poverty.

The bill also requires the Scottish Government to prepare delivery plans to report against the targets. However, the Committee calls for greater detail about the plans.
This Scottish Government bill mirrors provisions in the UK Child Poverty Act 2010.
The difference is that the targets measuring net income in this bill are on an after housing-costs (AHC) basis, whereas the previous UK approach had been before housing-costs (BHC).

Committee convener Sandra White MSP said: “There is simply no room for child poverty in a modern Scotland, so any legislation aimed at tackling this is to be applauded for its ambition. The Bill before us contains challenging targets for measuring child poverty but we believe that these targets do not go far enough.
“The introduction of interim targets would send a much louder message about the importance that is placed on tackling child poverty and they would create a sense of urgency which is needed if we are to really make a difference. Read more here
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