Alba Party: “Implement our 5 Point Plan to Tackle Child and Family Poverty Now”
Alba Party have called for urgent action to tackle poverty as stark new Scottish Child Poverty figures are published
The Pro-Independence Alba Party have urged the Scottish Government to take urgent action to help address “the national scandal” of Child Poverty in Scotland.
Alba Party’s National Equalities Convener Eva Comrie has hit out at new Child Poverty statistics saying that they are the symptom of a broken Westminster system but that the Scottish Government must do more to lift children out of poverty with the powers it has.
Alex Salmond’s Alba Party have been calling for the Scottish Government to implement their 5 Point Plan to Tackle Child and Family Poverty and has now called for urgent action.
Alba’s call echoes that of campaigners after new research shows child poverty rates are “unacceptably high” at local levels in Scotland.
The End Child Poverty Coalition, consisting of 101 organisations, has said all levels of government in the UK can do more to reduce the number of children living in poverty.
Just four local authority areas in Scotland had child poverty rates below 18% in 2021/22, according to new research by Loughborough University.
East Renfrewshire had the lowest estimated rate of 14.4%, followed by East Dunbartonshire, 14.9%, the Shetland Islands 15.4% and Aberdeenshire 16%.
The statistics were calculated based on the number of children who live in a household with a median income below 60% after housing costs are removed.
Glasgow City, North Ayrshire and Clackmannanshire had the highest child poverty rates, with 32%, 29% and 28.3% respectively.
Child poverty rates across Scotland suggest nearly one in four children (24%) are in poverty.
Alba Party say that if the Scottish Government were to implement their 5 Point Plan to tackle poverty it would lift 400,000 children from across 250,000 households in Scotland out of poverty.
They want to see the Scottish Government increase the Scottish Child Payment to £40 a week, one of several measures proposed by the party intended to “keep money in families pockets as well as addressing long-standing health inequalities that contribute to poverty”.
Alba Party want Free School Meals and breakfasts rolled out to all Primary and Secondary School Children. It is a policy that Alba say would keep £400 per child in the pockets of hard-pressed families. They also say the educational maintenance allowance that has remained at £30 since the SNP first came to Government should be doubled to £60 to help support young people in education.
Providing free access to sports facilities to one million young Scots would make access to Sport affordable and protect family budgets as well as save the country in the long run as Alba point to the £600 Million annual cost obesity has on the NHS as well as an estimated £4 Billion the Scottish Economy loses out on due to obesity-related lower productivity.
A £500 annual payment should also be made to all households that are in receipt of low-income related Council Tax Reduction. This was a policy Alba successfully rolled out in Inverclyde Council in 2022.
Commenting Alba Party’s National Equalities Convener Eva Comrie said:
"It is a national scandal that in energy-rich Scotland, we see such large volumes of children living in poverty. The Westminster system is broken and with independence, we can better use our energy bounty to create a much fairer country.
"However, in the here and now we urge the Scottish Government to act. Alba Party’s fully costed 5 Point Plan to tackle child and family poverty would lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty. This would cost under 3% of the Scottish Government’s entire resource budget.
"Poverty is at the root of many of the interconnected factors of deprivation in Scotland. These latest figures should be a wake-up call to make reducing poverty a central priority of all political parties."