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Monklands Has High Number Of Children Living In Poverty
Airdrie politicians hit out as a new study reveals one in four kids in North Lanarkshire are being brought up below the breadline.
A shocking 25 per cent of children residing in Monklands are living in poverty.
The figures were compiled on behalf of Campaign to End Child Poverty (CECP) who are now calling on the government to do more to tackle the problem.
They state that families with children living on less than £204 a week after housing costs are classed as being in poverty.
Airdrie & Shotts MP Pamela Nash said: “Scots are trapped between two governments, a Tory-led one at Westminster and the SNP in Edinburgh, who both have shameful records when it comes to child poverty.
“Child poverty fell under Labour – however, under the SNP child poverty has shot up. And now Alex Neil and his colleagues simply act as bystanders to Tory government policies, which they could help to mitigate.
“Instead of cutting a billion pounds in anti-poverty measures in the last few years, and sitting on money in the Scottish Welfare Fund, the SNP need to do more with the powers and money they have rather than acting like spectators to the effects of Tory cuts.
“The last Labour Government lifted over a million children out of poverty, and the next Labour Government will return to this agenda by freezing energy bills, raising the minimum wage to £8 an hour, and introducing a lower 10p starting rate of income tax and putting real money into the pockets of families and children living in poverty.”
However, Nash’s Holyrood counterpart, MSP Alex Neil, disagreed, blaming instead the UK government, while criticising Labour’s plans if elected next year.
“It is an utter disgrace that so many children are living in poverty in our country,” he said.
“The benefit cuts are having a devastating impact on levels of child poverty throughout the UK.
“Despite the best efforts of the Scottish Government, for example by expanding childcare to deprived two-year old children, the Tory/Liberal Coalition have given priority to tax cuts for the rich at the expense of public services and support for the poor.
“The commitment by the Labour Party to continue with the freeze on child benefit if they get elected next year is a moral outrage.
“Child benefit is one of the most effective weapons in the fight against child poverty, especially when it is paid for by higher taxes on the rich.
“We desperately need control over all welfare and benefits to be transferred to the Scottish Parliament so we can take the necessary measures to reduce and then eliminate child poverty in Scotland.
“Under Westminster there is no chance of the situation getting any better. It will only continue to get much worse.”
The data, compiled by Loughbourgh University, is based on official benefit and HRC tax credit information
More than 229,000 children across Scotland are now living in hardship. Glasgow was the highest area in Scotland in the study with 33 per cent of children living in poverty and Orkney was the lowest with 10 per cent deprivation.