Impact of child poverty targets to be explored by Committee

27.02.2017

Proposed targets for addressing child poverty in Scotland are to be scrutinised by Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee as it begins its examination of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill puts in place measures which require the Scottish Government to meet certain targets for the reduction of child poverty. These include seeing less than 10% of children in relative poverty and less than 5% of children in absolute poverty by 2030.

However, the Committee has today launched a call for views to find out if the measures in the Bill are ambitious enough and what practical impact these targets will have on child poverty in Scotland.

Committee Convener, Sandra White MSP said:

“All of us can agree that there is no place for child poverty in a modern Scotland. The effects of growing up in poverty can last a lifetime and can impact on health and education long after the child has grown.

“The Bill before us says it is ambitious, but our Committee want to know whether these measures go far enough in addressing this problem. We also want to know what difference this Bill will make to the lives of those children who are facing such hardship in Scotland right now.” 

The Committee wants to hear from local authorities, health boards and all those with an interest in the Bill about what practical impact this Bill will have and whether these targets should be reintroduced in Scotland. The Committee also would like views on:

  • The appropriateness and scope of the 4 targets;
  • Whether interim targets are needed;
  • The proposed arrangements for reporting progress and how best to hold the Scottish Government to account;
  • The responsibility placed on local councils and health boards to make local progress reports;
  • The existing Child Poverty Measurement Framework and its 37 indicators.

The Committee also wants to know what status the proposed national  poverty and inequality commission should have and what powers the commission should have in relation to the Bill.

The Committee has asked for written submissions by 23 March 2017.

Background

The Child (Poverty) Scotland Bill was introduced on 9 February 2017. Information about the Bill can be found here:

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/Bills/103404.aspx

The Bill defines relative poverty if they live in a household where equivalised income for the financial year in question is less than 60 per cent of the median equivalised net income for that financial year.

Absolute poverty is defined as a household with an income below 60 per cent of the median equivalised net income in 2010-11.

Submissions should be sent to: socialsecuritycommittee@parliament.scot

 

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