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Chamber and committees

Social Justice and Social Security Committee

Child Poverty Delivery Plan Consultation

Letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, 19 October 2021

Dear Convener,

The Scottish Parliament unanimously passed the Child Poverty Act (Scotland) in 2017. This Act set targets to reduce child poverty from 26% in 2017 to 18% in 2023/24 and 10% in 2030/21. The First Minister has declared a national mission to end child poverty, and delivering upon the targets will require us to be bold and ambitious.

The first Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, for the period 2018-2022, identified three key drivers of child poverty reduction – increasing income from employment, reducing costs of living, and increasing income from social security and benefits in kind. The Plan also identified six priority family groups, which contain 90% of all children living in poverty in Scotland. These are:

  • Lone parent families
  • Families with a disabled adult or child
  • Larger families (with 3 or more children)
  • Minority ethnic families
  • Families with children under the age of 1
  • Families with mothers under the age of 25

My officials have now started consultation for the second Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, which will span the years 2022-2026, and will seek views from stakeholders around Scotland on new game-changing ideas that will enable us to lift children out of poverty, to improve their lives and maximise opportunities to realise their potential.

The views of Members of the Scottish Parliament are, of course, absolutely vital in the development of the Delivery Plan. I am writing to you as Convener of the Social Justice and Social Security Committee to seek your views on priorities for the Plan.

In particular, I would welcome the views of your Committee on actions to address the three drivers of child poverty reduction for the six priority family groups, including:

  • what’s currently working well, and what should the Scottish Government and partners continue to do or do more of?
  • are there policies, actions or approaches that the Scottish Government and partners should stop doing or need to do differently?
  • what new policies, actions or approaches should the Scottish Government consider implementing?
  • what is the role for other partners – local government, businesses, the third sector, and other key stakeholders?
  • what lessons from the COVID response could be applied to tackling child poverty in the future?

I should be grateful if you could provide any views in writing to me by 19 November 2021, to allow your input to be fed into the process of drafting the Delivery Plan. If there are any matters you would welcome a discussion on, please contact my office and I will accommodate a meeting if at all possible.

Kind regards,