Date lodged: 29 November 2017
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to tackle the drivers of child poverty.
Answered by: Angela Constance 6 December 2017
The Scottish Government is taking a wide range of action to tackle the drivers of child poverty by increasing family incomes and reducing the costs of living. For example, we are investing over £100 million every year to mitigate UKG welfare cuts; we have invested more than £1 billion in the Council Tax Reduction scheme since 2013-14, helping almost half a million households each year; and we remain committed to the Living Wage. Scotland is best performing of UK countries paying the living wage, with 81.6% of employees paid at least that level.
Across government, our actions are delivering benefits for the most disadvantaged people in our society. Since August, every new-born child in Scotland has received a baby box, to give each one the best possible start. We will almost double funded provision of Early Learning and Childcare by 2020. We will deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes over this Parliamentary term. And more than 134,500 P1-P3 children are benefitting from healthy, nutritious free school meals - delivering savings for families of around £380 per child per year.
All of this in the face of continued UK Government welfare cuts, which are set to push 1 million children across the UK into poverty by 2021-22, making our task all the more difficult.