Relative child poverty is projected to rise to the highest level since the peaks of the 90s, and a further 3 million will be plunged into absolute poverty without UK government action, according to the Resolution Foundation.
Following the new statistics, which also show that the UK is on track to lose two decades of income growth, the SNP has said it is clear that Scotland’s children and household incomes can only be protected with independence.
The data shows that rising inflation could wipe out all pay growth since 2003, decrease the typical real household income by 6% by 2023-24, and see the number of people living in absolute poverty increase from 11 million to 14 million by 2023-24.
The Resolution Foundation has called for a “substantial policy intervention” on “energy prices or incomes to limit destitution over this winter.”
The boss of big energy company, Ovo, has also today called on the UK government to take action to prevent the poorest households going cold and hungry.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:
“After 12 years of Tory austerity, and after the Tory government has repeatedly failed to bring in meaningful cost-of-living support, it is crystal clear that only independence can protect people in Scotland.
“Under the Westminster Tories, relative child poverty is set to reach its highest level since the 90s.
“And that comes as no surprise, given they spent the past decade systematically dismantling the UK’s social security system and bringing in poverty-inducing policies such as the two-child cap, the benefit cap, the bedroom tax and slashing Universal Credit by over £1000 during a global pandemic.
“Through their actions and policies, the Tories have made it clear that they will always prioritise making the rich richer over supporting the most vulnerable in society – indeed their failure to lift a finger as inflation hit double figures and the energy price cap increases speaks volumes.
“The SNP has repeatedly called for urgent action from the UK government, including measures such as doubling the energy bills grant, reinstating the Universal Credit uplift and extending it to legacy benefits, reversing the energy price cap increase, bringing in a Real Living Wage and matching the Scottish Child Payment.
“All of these calls have been ignored.
“Scotland has shown it is on a different path, by bringing in a social security system based on dignity and respect, and child-poverty reducing policies such as the Child Payment and Best Start Grants.
“We can only go further with the full powers of independence.”