Child Poverty Bill published

For the first time in its history, the Scottish Government will be responsible for meeting ambitious targets to reduce and ultimately child poverty in Scotland.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance.
Equalities Secretary Angela Constance.

The Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill has been published today and will see Scotland become the only part of the UK with statutory targets in a bid to reduce the number of children experiencing the damaging effects of poverty by 2030.

The government will publish a three-year child poverty delivery plan by April 2018, which will be updated every five years, and annual reports to measure progress.

Equalities Secretary Angela Constance returned to Dundee, where the consultation was launched, to mark the publication of the Bill. She visited Fairy Job Mother, an innovative programme that helps 16-24 year olds into work, with 70% of those completing the programme finding employment.

Ms Constance said: “It’s utterly unacceptable that one in five children in Scotland live in poverty and this Bill sets out statutory targets to reduce and ultimately eradicate child poverty.

“Child poverty has been a systemic problem for decades. Tackling the immense challenge is an ambition all of Scotland – be that national and local government, health boards, businesses, the third sector or others – must work together to overcome.

“We’re absolutely committed to tackling the deep-rooted causes of child poverty, addressing the needs of those living in poverty today and preventing future generations from those circumstances.

“This Bill is a major step forward as we look to give our children the best start in life, and it establishes a framework by which we can be held to account for our efforts. We look forward to hearing the views of the Parliament and of stakeholders on the proposals.”