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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Challenge Poverty Week

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Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison will reiterate the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling poverty and its support for those most affected by the cost of living crisis at an event hosted by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation in Scotland.

Ms Robison will also say that UK Government economic policies are adding “problems on problems” for the poorest in society.

Speaking ahead of today’s event (Monday 3 October), Ms Robison said:

“Tackling child poverty is a national mission and we are doing everything we can within our limited powers and fixed budget to support those who need it.

“We have allocated almost £3 billion in this financial year to contribute towards mitigating the cost of living crisis and almost a third of this support is only available in Scotland.

“Yet at the same time as we focus on providing direct financial support to people on the lowest incomes, UK Government policy undermines this.

“For example, if welfare reforms introduced since 2015 were reversed, this would put £780 million into the pockets of Scottish households and lift 30,000 children out of poverty in 2023-24.

“The UK Government’s reckless mini-budget, borrowing to cut the top rate of tax, will plunge millions of households into financial uncertainty and require a squeeze on public spending while benefiting the very rich.

“This radical shift in UK Government policy has caused significant economic shock and added further pressure on prices for already hard-pressed families and businesses.

“In contrast, the Scottish Government is prioritising action to help households in need.

“Our Scottish Child Payment, a key anti-poverty measure unique to Scotland, will increase to £25 per eligible child per week from 14 November – a 150% increase in just eight months.

“It will also open to applications for eligible under-16s from that date.

“This week we will also introduce emergency legislation to freeze rents and put in place an evictions moratorium to keep people in their homes this winter.

“Our track record speaks for itself but most of the key policy levers are held by the UK Government, which must do so much more.

“It is reprehensible to target those on the lowest incomes and the UK Government must act urgently to repair the damage of their dreadful economic decision-making.”

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