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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S5W-13281
Asked by: Clare Haughey, Rutherglen, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 8 December 2017

Question

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the recent analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, which suggests that 700,000 more people in the UK are in poverty compared with four years ago.

Current status: Answered by Angela Constance on 13 December 2017


Answer

The Scottish Government welcomes the recent analysis outlined by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in their 'UK Poverty 2017' and 'Poverty in Scotland 2017' reports. We will consider their specific recommendations for Scotland as we continue to work towards our 2030 vision for a fairer Scotland.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation reports show that poverty is lower in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, and that falls in poverty among pensioners and families with children have been greater and more sustained than elsewhere. However, we know the numbers are still too high. That is why our ambitious Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill, which was passed unanimously by Parliament on 8 November, will set in statute targets to significantly reduce the number of children living in poverty in Scotland by 2030.

Our first Child Poverty Delivery Plan will be published by 1 April 2018, and will set out our proposals for working towards these ambitious targets. But we know that meeting the targets will be particularly challenging whilst UK Government austerity and welfare cuts continue. According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the four-year freeze on working age benefits is the “single biggest policy driver behind rising poverty, hitting families in and out of work”.