Laying the foundations for a Scotland without poverty

Without further action we will miss the Scottish child poverty targets – but our briefing shows how we can still meet these targets by combining efforts on housing, jobs and social security.

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Scotland’s child poverty targets were unanimously agreed in the Scottish Parliament. Just as we collectively set these targets, we must again come together to make sure we achieve them and improve living standards for children in Scotland.

This briefing shows how we can meet these targets by combining efforts to unlock families from poverty on three fronts:

  • improving the affordability of housing
  • getting people into better jobs, and
  • bolstering social security.

Our analysis and modelling show that to meet the interim child poverty targets by 2023/24 we will have to increase social security spending, but that we can reduce that cost by improving the affordability of housing, and parents’ incomes from work, to set us on course for the 2030 targets.

This briefing, by Chris Birt, Becky Milne, Alina Sandor, Andrew Wenham, Ben Drake, Deborah Hay and Jack Evans, shows that:

  • The next Scottish Government will have to increase spending on social security to meet the interim child poverty targets and improve the adequacy of support for families.
  • The Scottish Child Payment (SCP) will have to at least double to show a credible route to the interim targets.
  • The next Scottish Government’s choices will be vital in laying the foundations for meeting the 2030 targets, and we need to make fundamental changes in our society, particularly to our labour market, starting in the next Parliament.

Starting that action immediately would put us on a path to deliver a Scotland where the quality of life for all our people is improved and where the experience of poverty is the exception, rather than the experience it is for one million people right now.

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