Monday 20th October 2014


One in four children in Inverclyde is living in poverty. This startling statistic was revealed in a study published last week by the End Child Poverty Campaign. The increased numbers of children in hardship is all the more shocking in that many of them are living in families with at least one parent working.

I hope these findings will act as a wake-up call for the Scottish Government which has failed to match it’s rhetoric with action and has implemented policies that are having a detrimental effect on children and families.

Its cuts to the housing budget have pushed rents up by over 20% since it came to power. Its decision to slash college places has made it more difficult for working people to gain access to lifelong education and build on their skills. Its failure to fully address childcare and after school costs have increased the burden on families, eating in to their disposable income.

And on the issue of low pay, it was a real disappointment when the Scottish Government voted down motions in the Parliament that would have linked the living wage with public contracts. This policy if implemented would have transformed the lives of many on low pay here in Inverclyde.

Reducing poverty, will in long-run help build a better society, put more people into work and reduce Scotland’s significant health inequalities. We need to move on from the rhetoric to action and bring an end to the hardship that children and families throughout Scotland are facing.

 In the last few days Nicola Sturgeon has said that her top priority as First Minister will be to create a fairer Scotland and to end child poverty. I look forward to her delivering on this promise. If she does so, she will certainly have my support.