A survey for the End Child Poverty coalition suggested that 3.5 million children are living in poverty in the UK, with 220,000 of them living in Scotland.
A separate study by the Trussell Trust released today found that in the first half of this year there was an increase in food-bank usage that included 500,000 three-day emergency food supplies distributed across the UK, of which over 188,500 were for children.
It’s deeply disheartening that thousands of children in Inverclyde are living in poverty and highlights the need for radical change in the way we treat and support those less fortunate.
This report comes at the same time as a report from the Trussell Trust which indicates that 320 children in Inverclyde received three day emergency food supplies between April and September 2016. The fact that foodbank use continues to grow is a damning indictment of the UK Government’s failed austerity agenda.
Alongside this, the UK Government are pushing through a new benefits cap that will cut the incomes of thousands of families. This action has put added pressure on the Scottish Government who currently have limited economic powers to combat the Tory cuts.
However, the Scottish Government are spending £100m on mitigating regressive austerity cuts to social security. Added to this, my Westminster colleague Mhairi Black MP has brought forward a Private Members Bill, which has cross party support, regarding the unfair sanctions regime.
Locally, I would like to pay tribute to organisations and charities such as Starter Packs Inverclyde, Inverclyde School Uniforms Bank, Inverclyde Foodbank, Financial Fitness, Children in Poverty Inverclyde, Welfare Rights and many others who are undertaking tremendous work to assist and provide support to individuals, families and children, living in poverty or struggling to make ends meet. They are the real hero’s and I’m fortunate to work alongside them.
Finally, I will be arranging a meeting with End Child Poverty Coalition to discuss their report and the findings regarding children in poverty in Inverclyde.