Final CRWIA - Web publication of Child Poverty Delivery Plan CRWIA
Child Poverty Delivery Plan CRWIA
Date of publication
The Delivery Plan covering the period 2018 - 2022 is the first due under the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017. It sets out actions to contribute to meeting the interim and final targets outlined within the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017.
The Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill was introduced on 9 February 2017 in response to UK Government changes to the Child Poverty Act 2010: these changes removed the UK 2020 child poverty targets and amended the remit of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. The Bill was passed unanimously in the Scottish Parliament in November 2017 and enacted as the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 in December.
The Act sets in statute four income based targets to be met by 2030/31, and interim targets, based on the same measures, to be met by 2023/24. The targets are largely focused on the income of the household, however also considers housing costs, as well as wider costs of living; captured through the material deprivation measure.
The 2030 targets are that, of children living in households in Scotland—
(a) less than 10% live in relative poverty,
(b) less than 5% live in absolute poverty,
(c) less than 5% live in combined low income and material deprivation,
(d) less than 5% live in persistent poverty
Income and Poverty Statistics 2015/16 indicate rising poverty in Scotland and a mixed picture in the UK compared to the previous year. More than one in four children in Scotland (26%) were living in relative poverty after housing costs ( AHC), an increase of 4 percentage points, compared with 30% at a UK level. In-work poverty ( AHC) has continued to rise and 70% of children in poverty now live in working households – up 4 percentage points on the previous year.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies ( IFS, November 2017) has projected that an additional 1.3 million children will be in relative poverty in the UK in 2021-22 compared to 2015-16: rising from 30% to 37%, or from 4 million to 5.2 million children in poverty. Scotland level child poverty projections by IFS suggest that, on an AHC basis, relative child poverty will rise to 29% by 2021 (compared to 23.2% in 2015) and absolute poverty will rise to 25%, compared to 22.4% in 2015.
Scope of the CRWIA
The CRWIA has looked at available evidence, published both through the Scottish Government and through key stakeholders and trusted partners. The key findings of this evidence has underpinned the need for action, and outlined the disparity geographically and between different groups in Scotland.
The Consultation which has been undertaken to support the CRWIA has been robust and has included the views of children and young people. This has highlighted key issues for consideration in improving the lives and experiences of children and young people, and for wider society.
Children and young people’s views and experiences
The main recommendations made by children and young people, through consultation facilitated by the Children’s Parliament, Young Scot and Princes Trust, focussed around the themes identified by the Poverty and Inequality Commission. They also specifically noted that they would like continued engagement, and for their ideas to be listened to and taken into consideration.
The themes and key actions are noted below:
Increasing Incomes and Reducing Costs
- The cost of the school day, including trips, uniform costs and travel
- The cost of heating and electricity for low income families
- The cost of travel for families; both to school and for recreation
Work and Earnings
- Apprenticeships should be better paid and more accessible
- Removal of zero hour contracts
- Create flexible working for parents
- Increase the minimum wage for 16 year olds
- More support for people with learning conditions to be offered by employers
- More support to start a business
- Put more money towards benefits
- Build more social housing
- Provide shelters for people without homes
Improving Quality of Life and Helping Families Mitigate The Impacts of Poverty
- Help young people and families with activity expenses
- Better access to mental health support for people in deprived areas
- Provide money management skills in school
- Provide greater support for those who do not have food
- Ensure children have access to a computer and the internet
- Schools to focus on a range of career pathways, provide larger library stocks, and to provide preloaded ‘food cards’ for children to pay for lunches
- Provide greater support to communities affected by poverty
The actions in the TCPDP aim to reduce child poverty towards the levels of the interim and final targets. A headline objective set out in the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act is to reduce relative child poverty to 10% or lower by 2030. This would mean significant numbers of children lifted out of low incomes, securing their socio-economic and other rights.
For children still experiencing low income in 2030, the experience of poverty should be shorter and less damaging to life chances, because employment is fairer and more sustainable, costs of living are more manageable, and poverty is shallower because children are better supported by the social security system. In addition, the TCPDP aims to support children’s quality of life, thereby enhancing well-being.
The TCPDP specifically responds to the concerns of children and young people mentioned above, where devolved powers allow.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The TCPDP will serve to focus efforts to reduce poverty and inequality for children across Scotland. It will pay particular attention to those with protected characteristics and to those families at higher risk of poverty and disadvantage.
Poverty negatively impacts on the life chances of children and young people, and can negatively impact on outcomes in later life; thus perpetuating a cycle of poverty and disadvantage within communities.
Poverty levels vary greatly across Scotland, however certain groups are at a higher risk of poverty, and therefore a concerted effort must be made to assist these groups to move out of poverty.
Efforts to tackle poverty and inequality, where they are targeted or where they are applied more generally, will have positive impacts on children and young people.
The actions in the TCPDP have been developed so as to be comprehensive and impactful. Robust monitoring and evaluation will be needed to ensure that implementation is effective in advancing equality. There will also be a need to retain the focus on quality of life and well-being, going forward. Implementation will also need to consider both geographical requirements and the requirements of our priority families.
Delivery Plan actions must pay cognisance to any issues raised in consultation and seek to address them, or where action cannot be taken immediately, to consider further what alternative measures might be appropriate.
Monitoring and review
Annual reporting forms a key component of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act, through this, annual reports on progress towards the 2030 targets must be published by Ministers.
The first annual report will be published in 2019, within 3 months of the end of the annual reporting year.
Interim and Final reports must also be published in financial years beginning 1 April 2024 and 1 April 2030 respectively.
CRWIA not required
22 March 2018
Deputy Director or equivalent
Lesley Fraser, Director, Social Justice & Regeneration
22 March 2018