Scotland’s Deputy First Minister has claimed UK Government insurance policies have created extra poverty after a report recommended the variety of youngsters residing in poverty in Scotland had risen since 2017.
Talking to BBC Scotland on Thursday night, John Swinney mentioned the Scottish Government was performing in opposition to a “tide” of varied adjustments from the UK Authorities that “create extra poverty”.
A briefing paper revealed by Audit Scotland on Thursday confirmed round 1 / 4 of kids in Scotland had been residing in poverty between 2017-20, a rise of three% since figures collated between 2011 and 2014.
“Little one poverty is decrease in Scotland than it’s in different components of the UK and that’s a consequence of steps we have now taken in relation to measures such because the Scottish Little one Cost,” Mr Swinney mentioned.
“The problem we face in all of those issues is that we are attempting to take measures to deal with the difficulty of kid poverty, however we’ve received to behave in opposition to a tide of varied adjustments in coverage within the UK Authorities which frankly, create extra poverty.
“So the adjustments in profit coverage by the UK Authorities have created extra poverty in Scotland.
“The choice the UK Authorities took to cut back Common Credit score creates extra poverty in Scotland.
“We have to do as a lot as we probably can do with the assets we have now obtainable to us to cut back youngster poverty.”
The Perthshire MSP argued the Scottish Authorities was making progress in tackling poverty and mentioned a spread of insurance policies had been in place such because the Scottish Little one Cost and the Scottish Attainment Problem.
He mentioned: “I might defy anyone to problem the worth of insurance policies equivalent to college clothes grants or the work we’re doing on the pupil fairness funding in making an attempt to deal with and scale back ranges of poverty.”
Forward of the Chancellor’s mini-budget on Friday, Mr Swinney voiced considerations it might be a “renewed assault” on already susceptible folks.
He added: “If we face the wave of measures taken by the UK Authorities, extra of which we’ll most likely see tomorrow, that are designed to assault those that are already in poverty and create extra poverty, we’ve received a much bigger problem we have to deal with.
“What I worry goes to come back tomorrow is a renewed assault on probably the most susceptible folks.
“I believe the UK Authorities will take measures that may, frankly, enhance poverty and inequality in our society.
“The problem we face in making an attempt to deal with these points will stay all of the graver as a consequence of the choices the UK Authorities take.”
Mr Swinney argued for public spending to be prioritised and mentioned the Scottish Authorities price range was underneath “acute stress” as a result of impact of rising inflation.
He urged the UK Authorities to rethink the proposed scrapping of the nationwide insurance coverage rise that had beforehand been put in place by former chancellor Rishi Sunak.
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng confirmed the transfer forward of his mini-budget within the Home of Commons on Friday after Prime Minister Liz Truss pledged to scrap the hike through the Conservative management election in the summertime.