Children 1st supports the 'Give Me Five' campaign to help children out of poverty
Children 1st is working in partnership with a number of organisations, including Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, The Poverty Alliance, Justice and Peace Scotland and the Church of Scotland, to support the ‘Give Me Five’ Campaign.
The Give Me Five Campaign is calling for the 2018/19 budget and Scottish Government spending plans to include a top-up of Child Benefit by £5 per week.
Scotland has new social security powers. The campaign partners believe the Scottish Government should take every opportunity to help children and families out of poverty, including “topping up” Child Benefit.
Poverty currently affects one in four children in Scotland, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
Tackling poverty is good for us all, and we believe that social security should help enable children to access all the opportunities available to them.
Increasing child benefit by just £5 a week for every child could lift 30,000 children out of poverty.
Facts about child poverty in Scotland:
- 1 in 4 (260,000) children live in poverty in Scotland.
- Over 70% of children living in poverty live in working households.
- There are rising levels of acute income crisis e.g. families with children using foodbanks rose from 1,861 in 2011/12 to 36,114 in 2015/16.
- Cuts in the value of Child Benefit and Tax Credits since 2010 are a key driver of increased child poverty.
- Child poverty increased by 70,000 since 2011.
- The IFS and Resolution Foundation modelling forecast a 50% increase in child poverty across the UK by 2020.
Why top up child benefit?
- 30,000 children would be lifted out of poverty in Scotland.
- It would support families in and out of work, and at transition phases.
- Take-up rates are consistently high for Child Benefit (95%) compared to means tested benefits such as Tax Credits.
- Complexity, error, poor decision making and delay in delivery of means tested benefits is a key factor behind acute income crisis.
- Child Benefit provides families with secure, reliable protection.
- Child Benefit is spent on children.
- Child Benefit has a simpler administration than means-tested benefits.
- Investing in Child Benefit prevents as well as reduces poverty.
How you can help
Support the campaign – visit http://www.cpag.org.uk/content/give-me-five-child-benefit-top-campaign and sign the petition. You can also contact your local MSP through the website to urge them to support the £5 top-up.