Scottish Labor MP Monica Lennon has called for a quadruple payment for Scottish children to tackle child poverty in Lanarkshire.
Following last week’s government agenda, Lennon says the SNP has not set a concrete timeline for doubling the Scottish Child Payment and has made no mention of going further.
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Currently 6,155 children in South Lanarkshire are receiving Scottish Child Payment – all of whom would instantly benefit from an increase in the payment rate.
However, the actual number of children who will be supported will be much higher once eligibility is extended from under 6 to all under 16 and participation is improved.
Increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £ 40 a week is expected to lift up to 80,000 children out of poverty across Scotland, reducing child poverty by almost a third in one move.
Lennon believed it would also put Scotland back on track to meet its statutory child poverty reduction targets, which the government is set to miss by far.
In 2017, Holyrood passed the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act, which states that by 2023/24 less than 18% of children should be in relative poverty, and that by 2030/31 it should be less. by 10%.
Child poverty in South Lanarkshire has increased, increasing by 1.5% since 2015.
Forecasts indicate that nationwide the Scottish government is on track to miss its interim child poverty target by six percentage points, leaving 50,000 more children in poverty.
In the election, Scottish Labor called for the immediate doubling of the Scottish Child Payment to fight poverty. This call has been backed in recent weeks by more than 100 leading poverty organizations and faith groups in an open letter to the Prime Minister who said she wanted Parliament’s driving mission to be to end the child poverty.
Now Scottish Labor is calling on the SNP to go further and get back on track to meet child poverty reduction targets by immediately doubling the Scottish Child Payment and increasing it to £ 40 per week in 2022 / 23.
Commenting, Ms Lennon said: “It is just a shame that almost 13,000 children in South Lanarkshire live in poverty.
“Raising the Scottish Child Payment would transform countless lives with just one gesture.
“In South Lanarkshire, 6,155 beneficiaries would benefit instantly, and many more as eligibility expands.
“That’s why I wrote to Nicola Sturgeon last week, asking her to do the right thing.
“Likewise, the Westminster Conservatives must also abandon their dangerous plans to cut universal credit, which will only worsen the poverty we see in Scotland.
“I am proud to have worked with others to bring forward world-class legislation to end menstrual poverty, but we need to do much more to end child poverty.
“We can act now to tackle the scourge of child poverty in our communities – let’s make it happen. “