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Measures to tackle child poverty welcomed by Rona Mackay MSP

HARDENED measures to tackle child poverty in Strathkelvin and Bearsden have been welcomed by Rona Mackay MSP. 

On Monday, August 8, the Scottish Government launched of The Child Poverty Bill consultation.

The bill, which will be introduced next year, will build on the SNP’s existing work, and will form part of our overall approach to tackling poverty and inequality in Scotland.

The consultation was launched in Dundee where the Cabinet Secretary for Equalities Angela Constance visited a Summer Family Fun & Food Programme, which aims to tackle the free school meals gap out of term time by providing a range of activities and lunch for families in Dundee. They are aiming to supply 20,000 meals over the summer.

Ms Mackay welcomed the move, and told how the Scottish Government has a clear ambition to eradicate child poverty and this Bill will set the framework for making progress towards this goal.

She said: “Young people in East Dunbartonshire and across Scotland need the best start in life as possible — going hungry, living in poor housing and the illnesses and detriments associated with struggling under the breadline are nothing but a scourge on our society.

“I welcome the move by the Scottish Government and fully support the Child Poverty Bill, as this hegemony of having youngsters grow up without opportunity has to change.”

These next steps will build on the range of work the Scottish Government already has underway to tackle poverty and inequality, for example: a commitment to promoting the Living Wage; free school meals; expansion of funded early learning and childcare; the Scottish Attainment Challenge, supported by the Attainment Scotland Fund of £750 million over the parliamentary session; new duties to tackle inequalities of educational outcome experienced by pupils as a result of socio-economic disadvantage.

The consultation asks for comments on proposals to introduce four statutory income targets.

It also asks whether there are additional or alternative measures of poverty we should consider; and how particular elements of our approach – including our existing measurement framework and advisory structure – could be strengthened.

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