Church calls on Scottish Government to end child poverty
Published on 28 November 2023 1 minute read
The Church of Scotland has joined campaigners to urge the First Minister to keep his promise and provide significant additional investment to tackle child poverty.
It has joined more than 150 organisations across Scotland in signing an open letter calling on Humza Yousaf to "do the right thing" and increase the Scottish Child Payment to at least £30 a week in the upcoming budget.
Independent analysis actually suggests a payment of £40 per week will be needed to be sure child poverty falls in line with government targets.
The Church is committed to speaking truth to power to help tens of thousands of children locked in poverty because supporting the poorest people in society is the Gospel imperative and at the heart of all that it does.
It believes that all families should be provided with the support and resources necessary to thrive and the Scottish Child Payment, which has not been increased for 16 months, is a lifeline for those most in need.
Emma Jackson of the Church's Public Life and Social Justice Programme Group has signed the letter which notes that Humza Yousaf promised to do more to tackle child poverty during his campaign to become the new leader of the SNP and First Minister.
She said action speaks louder than words and the Scottish Government has a moral imperative to prioritse low income families who already have to make impossible choices between putting food on the table, paying the bills or getting into debt.
According to the Scottish Government, it is estimated that 24% of children (250,000 children each year) were living in relative poverty after housing costs in 2019-22.
The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 stipulated that by 2030 less than 10% of children living in Scottish households should be living in relative poverty.