One in five Scots children lives in poverty, study shows

The new research suggests 20% of Scottish children grow up in deprivation. Picture: Robert Perry
The new research suggests 20% of Scottish children grow up in deprivation. Picture: Robert Perry
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ONE in five children is living in poverty in parts of almost every local council area in Scotland, a survey from a group of leading charities has revealed.

Nearly all of Scotland’s local authorities – 27 out of 32 – have council wards where more than 20 per cent of their children live in poverty, according to the Campaign to End Child Poverty.

Scotland also has some of the most poverty-stricken parts of the UK for children, with the Glasgow North East constituency having 43 per cent classed as poor.

Only Manchester Central and Belfast West have higher rates of child poverty of just under 50 per cent, according to a map setting out the full extent of the crisis, published by the campaign.

John Dickie, of the Campaign to End Child Poverty, said that the study was a “sad indictment” of modern society.

He added: “The hidden picture is far more sinister as the current ripping away of that support is forecast to drive tens of thousands of children into poverty across Scotland.

“These projections are a sad indictment for our next generation. Rising child poverty means more children growing up in cold or damp homes, more children missing out at school and more children seeing their health undermined.”

A third of children live in poverty in Scotland’s biggest city of Glasgow, while Dundee had more than a quarter classed as poor, the campaign’s figures showed.

Edinburgh had almost one in five children in poverty, with a similar figure for Fife, East Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire. Children were classed as being in poverty if their family is forced to live on 60 per cent or less of median UK income.

The charities say that the child poverty figures published today are based on the most up-to-date local data from mid-2012.

The campaign, which includes Children Scotland, Barnardo’s Scotland, Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland and Save the Children are demeaning government intervention to reduce poverty.

Labour MSP Drew Smith blamed Scotland’s child poverty rates on the SNP as he called on ministers to back measures to increase the incomes of hardpressed families.

He said: “Tackling poverty could be the absolute priority for Scottish governments. But with the SNP, everything takes second place to the constitution.

“All we hear is SNP ministers talking about a different world after 2014, telling us what they can’t do now, not showing us what they will.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “It is nothing short of a scandal that any child should live in poverty in a resource-rich country like Scotland, and this report simply underlines the urgent need for Scotland to have the economic powers required to tackle poverty.”