Map shows children living in poverty in Scotland

More than one in three children in some parts of Scotland are growing up in poverty, according to a new map detailing the problem.

Research by charities shows poverty affects children in all parts of Scotland. PICTURE: Phil Wilkinson
Research by charities shows poverty affects children in all parts of Scotland. PICTURE: Phil Wilkinson

The figures reveal poverty affects young people in every part of Scotland, with 34.1 per cent impacted in Glasgow - which has the highest levels of child poverty.

This compares to other council areas such as Shetland where one in 10 children are affected.

The report, from the End Child Poverty coalition, shows more than 3.5 million children are living in poverty across the UK, with 220,000 of them in Scotland.

Campaigners say the figures, broken down by local authority, parliamentary constituency and ward, and campaigners, show a huge variation across the country.

Supporters of the End Child Poverty campaign in Scotland, which includes the Child Poverty Action Group, Barnardo’s Scotland, One Parent Families Scotland, Children 1st and the Poverty Alliance, have called for urgent action to be taken at UK, Scottish and local government level.

The coalition wants Chancellor Philip Hammond to use the upcoming Autumn Statement to end the freeze on child benefits and reverse cuts being introduced to in-work benefits.

John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, said: “There’s no doubt that many of the key drivers of child poverty are UK-wide and if the new Prime Minister is serious about supporting families then decisive action must be taken to end the freeze on children’s benefits and reverse sharp cuts to in-work support under Universal Credit.

“But this new map also makes it clear that child poverty plays out in different ways at local level.”

Campaigners are calling on Holyrood and local government to ensure a proposed Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill addresses poverty at local level. They believe the Bill, which will enshrine the Scottish Government’s ambition to eradicate child poverty by 2030, should explicitly set out and support the role of local government in tackling the issue.

Martin Crewe, director of Barnardo’s Scotland, said: “The latest map of child poverty across Scotland reflects the experience of our services working with families on low income day in, day out.

“There is much good work taking place to support these children and families but given their financial situation, changes in benefits that reduce income have a damaging effect on parents and children.”

After Glasgow, the areas with the highest percentage of children in poverty in Scotland, after housing costs are removed, are North Ayrshire (30.4 per cent), East Ayrshire (28 per cent), Inverclyde (27.9 per cent), Dundee (27.7 per cent) and Clackmannanshire (27.3 per cent).

In contrast, 10.6 per cent of children in Shetland live in poverty, 13.1 per cent in Aberdeenshire, and 14.1 per cent in the Orkney islands.