Edinburgh Eastern MSP Ash Denham has called on opposition MSPs to support the Scottish Government’s Budget for 2020/21 which includes an expected spend of at least £1.4 billion supporting low‐income households.
This coming year will also see the £21m allocated to the new Scottish Child Payment which, when it is fully rolled out in 2022, will lift 30,000 children out of poverty. The payment has been described by the Child Poverty Action Group as a ‘game changer’ in the fight to end child poverty and will make a ‘real difference to families’.
The Scottish Budget statement, delivered by Finance Minister Kate Forbes on Thursday afternoon, also pledges to invest around £645 million in the revolutionary expansion of early learning and childcare, improving the life chances of our children, delivering better opportunities for parents and carers to balance work and family life, and setting fair work standards for those that will deliver the expansion.
Ash Denham MSP said:
“I call on opposition MSPs to back the Budget put forward by the Scottish Government, recognising in particular the funding it has allocated to tackle child and family poverty. On average almost one in four children across Scotland live in poverty – and 65% of those children live in working households.
“Challenges to the economy often have the hardest impact on the most vulnerable, and so this Budget will continue to value growth, but will also provide progressive support targeted at those on low incomes and most in need of support.
“The initial roll out of the new Scottish Child Payment – which will lift 30,000 children out of poverty when it is fully implemented in 2022 – has been allocated £21m in this Budget and has been described by the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland as a ‘game-changer’ in the fight to end child poverty.
“At a time when the UK Government has cast aside the needs of Scotland by delaying the UK Budget, the Scottish Government is working to bring certainty, fairness and growth to the Scottish economy and I strongly urge opposition parties to support it.”
End Child Poverty estimated that 30% (after housing costs considered) of children in the Edinburgh Eastern constituency live in poverty, based on statistics from 2017/18.