Thu 26 Mar, 2020

This crisis has shown how vulnerable so many families are in Scotland, and made the case for a guaranteed basic income that would provide a real safety net Alison Johnstone

The child poverty rate could be exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, the Scottish Greens have warned.

New child poverty figures show 24% of children in Scotland in the 2016-2019 period experienced relative child poverty, equivalent to 230,000 children.

With unprecedented numbers of people applying for Universal Credit as businesses across the country are closed and self-employed contracts are cancelled, Scottish Greens children and young people spokesperson Alison Johnstone said emergency measures should protect more children from falling into poverty.

Commenting, Alison Johnstone said: “I welcome the measures to protect incomes during this crisis that are coming from the UK and Scottish Governments, but the latest child poverty figures show a real need to ensure more children don’t fall below the poverty line.

“These figures represent the extent of child poverty up until last April and the severe economic impact of COVID-19 will mean that even more families will now be struggling. That’s why we need to make support easy to access and available to everyone who needs it. We need to ensure all families affected are encouraged to apply for the Scottish and UK benefits that are due to them, and to the emergency support schemes in place.

“This crisis has shown how vulnerable so many families are in Scotland, and made the case for a guaranteed basic income that would provide a real safety net.”

The Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2016 – 2019 report can be found here

It presents three-year averaged estimates of the percentage of people, children, working age adults and pensioners living in low income households in Scotland, and other statistics on household income and income inequality.

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