Child poverty is an issue that should unite Scotland's politicians – Scotsman comment

What should be the measure of Scottish society? How should we determine whether the country we have created is a good one or not?

Wednesday, 14th October 2020, 12:30 pm
Child poverty is an issue that demands proposed solutions from across the political spectrum (Picture: John Devlin)
Child poverty is an issue that demands proposed solutions from across the political spectrum (Picture: John Devlin)

There are many ways of doing so, but the extent of child poverty is surely one of them and, regrettably, Scotland is heading in the wrong direction.

New figures from the End Child Poverty coalition reveal that the situation has got worse, not better, in almost every part of Scotland over the last six years. Nearly one in three children in Glasgow, our largest city, now live in poverty.

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Through no fault of their own, they are likely to pay a heavy price with those raised in low-income families more likely to experience poorer physical and mental health, perform worse in school and have fewer opportunities in their adult lives.

This is a heavily politicised issue – and rightly so because democracy is the means by which such seemingly intractable problems can be solved – but too often it is one that is used as a way of scoring points, rather than finding real-world solutions that actually make a difference.

One thing is crystal clear: this is an issue that should be at the top of the agenda for all Scotland’s parties. No politician should be allowed to dismiss or overlook child poverty, or deem it to be an inevitable fact of life. That’s simply not good enough.

The steps towards the goal of ending child poverty may not be as simple as some suggest and that means we need proposed solutions from across the political spectrum. It will be a difficult task but Scotland, united, can achieve it.

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