Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Child Poverty - It Shouldn't Happen Here

I was shocked to hear the news today that there are 3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK.  And the figures are set to soar in the coming years. 

Today Save the Children has published its report ‘Child Poverty in the UK in 2012: It Shouldn’t Happen Here’, which has found that the UK’s poorest children are bearing the brunt of the recession. 

The report is based on a survey of parents and children, and I welcome the opportunity to expose the voices which are so often hidden from the debate which rages over the economy.  One of the most telling things which it has exposed is the extent to which children are aware of financial hardship. 

The Coalition Government says it is committed to eradicating child poverty by 2020, but it’s difficult to see the evidence of this when figures like these are revealed. 

I’m pleased to see children and families getting a voice through this report, but it just shows the impact which austerity measures are having.  It’s difficult to believe that children in the UK are going to school hungry, without adequate clothing, every day.  We must do all we can to help those without a voice. 

That’s why I support the proposals for not just a minimum wage, but a living wage.  I welcome the consultation into the Living Wage (Scotland) Bill and look forward to contributing to this in the next few weeks.

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