Local Government Committee launches inquiry into child poverty

23/04/2008

An inquiry into child poverty in Scotland was launched today with a call for evidence by the Local Government and Communities Committee. With an estimated 90,000 children living in severe and persistent poverty in Scotland , the committee inquiry will focus on identifying solutions and scrutinising child poverty targets.

Committee Convener Duncan McNeil MSP said:

“Child poverty adversely affects every aspect of a child’s life including their health, education, future employment and well-being.

“The committee wants to identify those areas where action would bring about the most immediate and significant difference, such as how the targets on ending child poverty by 2020 and halving child poverty by 2010 can best be met.

“Securing a childhood that is poverty free and ensuring that today’s children can fully realise their potential as tomorrow’s active citizens is an issue that deserves our attention.”

Key issues to be addressed by the committee include:

  • the scrutiny arrangements for the targets for eradicating child poverty by 2020 and halving child poverty by 2010

  • the role of Single Outcome Agreements and Community Planning Partnerships in relation to policy and service delivery

  • the role of the Committee in measuring what is happening in relation to child poverty targets on a regular basis

  • supporting parents into, and remaining in, decently paid work

  • practical issues around maximising the take up of benefits

  • equality issues and the issue of sections of society being left behind and remaining out of reach of policies designed to reduce poverty

Committee Convener Duncan McNeil will be interviewed about the inquiry on the Scottish Parliament’s Holyrood Highlights programme broadcast on Thursday 24 April at 11.45am. This can be viewed on www.holyrood.tv