RCPCH responds to the Scottish Government’s Child Poverty Bill

The Scottish Government have published their Child Poverty Bill, which will see Scotland becoming the only part of the UK with statutory targets in a bid to reduce the number of children experiencing the damaging effects of poverty by 2030. 

The government will publish a three-year child poverty delivery plan by April 2018, which will be updated every five years, and annual reports to measure progress. 

Responding to the Scottish Government’s Child Poverty Bill, Dr Steve Turner, RCPCH Officer for Scotland, said:

“The Scottish Government’s child poverty bill marks a significant step in tackling a problem that is blighting the lives of thousands of Scottish children. Over 210,000 children in Scotland are living in poverty and the negative effect on their health and wellbeing is stark. Those from deprived backgrounds are much more likely to be overweight or obese, to smoke, to have parents who smoke and to suffer from conditions such as asthma and poor mental health, than those in the most affluent. 

“This Bill has clear targets, stresses the importance of progress reports and seeks to work at both local and national levels. But the real test will be how this is delivered, because without bold policies to close the gap between rich and poor, progress will be limited. 

“If we don’t get to grips with tackling poverty,  we are condemning our children, and future generations, to a lifetime of ill health. We look forward to working with the Scottish Government to make this Bill a reality.”