Independence the Only Way to End Child Poverty

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New Report Reveals Tory Rule Consigning Millions to Destitution

The SNP has said that Scottish independence is the only way to tackle child poverty, after a fresh report laid bare the impact of Tory rule on the rise in poverty in the UK.

The findings from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation indicate that 13.4 million people were in poverty during 2020/21, including 3.9 million children.

According to the report, 1.3 million primary school children and 1 million children under 4 were growing up in poverty even with additional support, and as a result are now experiencing the sharp end of the hardship caused by the cost of living crisis.

It also revealed one in six children (18%) to be living in persistent poverty – meaning having spent at least 3 out of the last 4 years in poverty. For young children that is nearly their whole life.

The £20 uplift in Universal Credit took was shown to have taken some families out of poverty, proving that government action can make things better. But this help was taken away as the cost of living rose, and many are now unable to afford the essentials such as food, hygiene and warmth.

The report additionally found that:

  • Almost 40% of children in a lone parent family are in poverty;
  • The pandemic highlighted huge health inequalities, with a strong overlap between poverty rates and where you live, your ethnicity and your health outcomes.

It comes as the most deprived Scottish areas have been abandoned by the UK Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ investment in favour of wealthier council areas in England. The top ten poorest council areas in Scotland received none of this at all in this year’s round of funding, as they face a likely UK recession and the continuing cost crisis.

With former Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney warning that the UK is in the “most difficult” position of all major world economies, “amplified by the separation from the European Union“, the latest Scottish independence poll found 55% of Scottish voters would back pro-independence parties at the next General Election.

The poll, carried out by ‘Find Out Now’, concluded that 52% of voters would vote for the SNP.

– Graeme 

While these findings should shock the Tories into action, the experience of the last 13 years would indicate that no amount of suffering will see them change tack.

While the Scottish Government strives to tackle child poverty through new devolved payments and initiatives, damaging policy after damaging policy from Westminster drags people down and holds us back – from the austerity ideology to its effect in cuts and benefits sanctions.

The fallout of a disastrous EU exit is further damaging people’s living standards and exacerbating child poverty, and yet the Labour Party are now squarely behind Brexit as well.

While Scotland is making great strides towards building a fairer society, it is clear that this mission cannot be fully realised without the full powers of independence.