Last week GCVS, on behalf of Glasgow’s Third Sector Interface, supported Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) Scotland’s call to MSPs to use Scotland’s Budget Bill to top-up Child Benefit by £5 a week.
The briefing developed by the Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform (SCoWR) highlighted that a £5 per week increase in Child Benefit would result in a 14% reduction in child poverty. Research conducted by CPAG found that, in 2013, child poverty cost the UK Economy £29 billion, whilst this modest increase would cost Scotland just £256 million per year – demonstrating that the cost of not acting to reduce to child poverty is much higher.
John Dickie, Director of CPAG in Scotland said:
“Five pounds a week might not seem like much for many of us but for hard-pressed families it would make all the difference. It could be the difference between a child going on a school trip or missing out, or the difference between a trip to the food bank and a trip to the supermarket. We urge MSPs of all parties to make sure the Scottish Government uses this budget – and the new social security powers at its disposal – to invest in family incomes and make a defining impact on levels of child poverty.”
“The Scottish Government commitment to eradicate child poverty in Scotland by 2030 is hugely welcome as are the commitments already made to introduce Best Start grants, but the new power to top up benefits provides an opportunity to take an even greater step towards achieving that goal. Topping up child benefit by just £5 a week could not only reduce child poverty by 14%, it would set Scotland on a different trajectory from the rest of the UK, which is facing a projected 50% rise in child poverty by 2020”
Helen Macneil, CEO of GCVS said:
“Well done to all of the SCoWR participants for taking this forward, we really hope that it is a successful approach.”