Keeping 100,000 children out of poverty

Modelling shows vital impact of Scottish Government policies.

The First Minister has welcomed analysis which estimates 100,000 children will be kept out of relative poverty in 2024-25 as a result of Scottish Government policies.

Updated modelling of the cumulative impact of policies such as the Scottish Child Payment indicates the relative child poverty rate will be 10 percentage points lower than it would otherwise have been.

Speaking after joining a Book Bug session at Drum Brae Library Hub in Edinburgh with the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Mr Yousaf highlighted estimates in the report of the impact the UK Government could have on child poverty, if it were to bring in selected welfare changes alongside the Scottish Government’s actions.

These show that removing the two-child limit and reinstating the family element in Universal Credit – worth £545 per family in 2017 – could lead to an estimated further 10,000 fewer children in Scotland living in poverty in 2024-25. Meanwhile, introducing an Essentials Guarantee to ensure Universal Credit is always enough to meet people’s basic needs could lead to 30,000 fewer children experiencing poverty.

The First Minister said:

"It is utterly unacceptable that, in 2024, children continue to live in poverty in Scotland. That is why we have very deliberately chosen to invest in our public services, and the social contract which binds the Scottish Government to the people we serve.

“From the introduction of the innovative and transformative Scottish Child Payment – described as ‘game-changing’ by frontline organisations and already improving the lives of so many children and families across Scotland in real and immediate ways – to investing £1 billion to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap, continuing delivery of the Whole Family Wellbeing programme, providing £50 million to develop and scale up holistic family support and investing around £1 billion every year in high quality early learning and childcare, ensuring Scotland delivers the most generous funded childcare offer in the UK.

“The economic modelling published today estimates that the actions we’re taking will mean the relative and absolute child poverty rates will be 10 and 7 percentage points lower than they would have otherwise been. That’s 100,000 children kept out of relative poverty and 70,000 kept out of absolute poverty next year. These are the lives of children across Scotland, in every single community, being improved by the action we are taking.

“While we all know the challenging financial situation Scotland faces, the Scottish Budget continues to prioritise tackling and reducing child poverty. Against a backdrop of the UK Government’s two-child limit and continued austerity, we are taking real action to lift children out of poverty and improve their chances in life.

“We know that the UK Government could lift a further 40,000 children out of poverty in Scotland this year if they made key changes to Universal Credit. That includes introducing an Essential’s Guarantee and scrapping the two child limit.

“Every child in Scotland deserves a life free of poverty and I will continue to do everything in my power to make that a reality.”



CIA modelling report:

First Minister’s speech: Child poverty, economic modelling: First Minister - 28 February 2024 - (

The First Minister joined a session of the Book Bug in Edinburgh with the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice Shirley Anne Somerville.


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