Child poverty in Scotland: taking the next steps

Stephen Sinclair and John McKendrick

This study discusses progress made in Scotland to end child poverty, and suggests what the Scottish Government needs to do to reach the 2020 target.

Child poverty has fallen in Scotland, but evidence from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation suggests that the current rate of progress will not achieve the 2020 target to eradicate child poverty. Some policy measures required to reduce child poverty (such as benefit increases) are not devolved powers, but the Scottish Government could do more to remove barriers to employment, sustain people in work and tackle low pay.

The Scottish Government should consider:

  • Encouraging employers to create more flexible jobs which allow parents to combine work and care responsibilities.
  • Increasing access to affordable, flexible childcare.
  • Providing in-work support and advice to help parents remain in employment.
  • Defining a Scottish living wage, and commit to paying this to public sector employees.


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