Letter to FM on introduction of income supplement for low income families
Dear First Minister,
Ahead of the Scottish Government’s statement on Wednesday on the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, we have come together to urge you to bring forward the introduction of the income supplement for low income families from the current delivery date of 2022.
All of our organisations strongly welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to the income supplement, and we share your belief in the need to use Scotland’s social security powers to loosen the grip of poverty on people’s lives.
However, as you will know, child poverty projections for the coming years are stark. The Scottish Government’s own forecasts show that, without action, the child poverty rate is projected to rise to 35% by 2020/21. We will fail to meet the targets set by the Child Poverty Act unless more urgent and ambitious action is taken.
It is the firmly-held belief of our organisations that the urgent delivery of the income supplement must be one such action. The 240,000 children living in poverty in our communities across Scotland cannot wait until 2022 for the valuable lifeline that the income supplement can provide. For families in the grip of poverty right now who are struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table, 2022 is simply too far away. Families urgently need the anchor of the income supplement to prevent them from being pulled further into poverty.
This is particularly true for women, who are more likely to experience poverty than men. Women’s poverty is inextricably interlinked with child poverty, as women have a disproportionate responsibility for caring for children and account for 91% of lone parents.
We are therefore writing to you to urge that the statement this week commits to four key actions:
- That legislation for the income supplement will be contained within the next Programme for Government and passed within this parliamentary session.
- That the Scottish Government will explore all options for delivering either an interim or streamlined version of the income supplement in advance of the passing of legislation.
- That an initial budget for the income supplement is announced as part of the budget process for 2020/21 and any spending review.
- That the income supplement be delivered at such a scale as to make substantive progress toward the government’s statutory child poverty targets.
We recognise that the safe and secure delivery of devolved social security entitlements is a priority for the Scottish Government. But with the equivalent of one classroom of children a day – a school a month – being pulled into poverty in Scotland, we cannot afford to wait.
If we want to live in a Scotland where every child really does have every chance, we must act sooner than 2022. The statement on Wednesday offers the opportunity to make that happen, and we urge you to seize it.
Peter Kelly, Director, Poverty Alliance
Satwat Rehman, Director, One Parent Families Scotland
Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland
SallyAnn Kelly, CEO, Aberlour
Jim McCormick, Associate Director for Scotland, Joseph Rowntree Foundation
John Dickie, Director, CPAG in Scotland
Russell Gunson, Director, IPPR Scotland
Hugh Foy, Director of Programmes, The Xaverian Missionaries UK Province
Marie Ward, Chief Executive Officer, Cranhill Development Trust
Lucy Mulvagh, Director of Policy and Communications, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)
Marsha Scott, CEO, Scottish Women’s Aid
Shaben Begum, Director, Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
Faye Keogh, Policy & Business Development Officer, Turning Point Scotland
Bill Scott, Director of Policy, Inclusion Scotland
Ian Morrison, Chief Executive, Whiteinch & Scotstoun Housing Association Ltd
Dr Sharon Wright, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy, University of Glasgow
Craig Samuel, Scotland Representative, National Association of Welfare Rights Advisers
Frank Mosson, Bureau Manager, Bridgeton Citizens Advice Bureau
Tracy Gilmour, Warrior Mum Project & North Ayrshire Fair for All Commissioner
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO)
Betty Stevenson, Convenor, Edinburgh Tenants Federation
Janis McDonald, Chief Officer, deafscotland
Liz McEntee, Director for External Affairs, GCVS
Anna Ritchie Allan, Executive Director, Close the Gap
Derek Mitchell, CEO, Citizens Advice Scotland
Kate Wimpress, Chair, SURF – Scotland’s Regeneration Forum
Nasreen Ali, Chair, Crookston Community Group
Jackie Brock, Chief Executive, Children in Scotland
Professor Clare Cable, Chief Executive and Nurse Director, Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS)
Dr Hartwig Pautz, Lecturer in Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland
Professor Chik Collins, University of the West of Scotland
Professor Mhairi Mackenzie, Professor of Public Policy, University of Glasgow
Pete Ritchie, Executive Director, Nourish Scotland
Dr Julie Clark, Senior Lecturer in Sociology & Public Policy, University of the West of Scotland
Claire Stevens, Chief Executive, Voluntary Health Scotland
Dr Gerry McCartney, Consultant in Public Health
Alistair Brown, National Director, Scottish Association of Social Work
Joanna McCreadie, Chair, Coalition of Care and Support Providers in Scotland’s Committee on Care and Support for Young People
Bishop William Nolan, Bishop of Galloway and President of Justice and Peace Scotland
Honor Hania, Chair, Justice and Peace Scotland
Clare Simpson, Manager, Parenting Across Scotland
Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive, Children 1st
Alan Thornburrow, Director, Business in the Community Scotland
Professor Steve Turner, Scottish Officer, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
Professor John McKendrick, Co-Director of the Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University
Larry Flanagan, General Secretary, Educational Institute of Scotland
The Scottish Health Promotion Managers Group
Dr Anne Mullin, Chair on behalf of the Deep End GP Group
Suki Wan MSYP, Chair, Scottish Youth Parliament
David Walsh, Public Health Programme Manager, Glasgow Centre for Population Health
Claire Telfer, Head of Scotland, Save the Children
Professor Adrian Sinfield, Professor Emeritus of Social Policy, University of Edinburgh
Dr Morag Treanor, Professor of Child and Family Inequalities, Heriot-Watt University
Fiona Forsyth, Trustee, CPAG
Mike Dailly, Solicitor Advocate, Govan Law Centre
Professor Stephen Sinclair, Co-Director of Scottish Poverty and Inequality Research Unit, Glasgow Caledonian University
Matt Forde, National Head of Service, NSPCC Scotland
Dr Andrew Fraser, Chair, Scottish Directors of Public Health
Rt Rev Colin Sinclair, Moderator of the Church of Scotland
Joan M.M Cook, President of the Scottish Unitarian Association
Rev May-Kane Logan, Chair of the Congregational Federation in Scotland
Sally Thomas, Chief Executive, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations
Paul Carberry, Director, Action for Children Scotland
Professor Nancy Loucks OBE, Chief Executive, Families Outside
Ewan Aitken, CEO, Cyrenians
Emma Ritch, Executive Director, Engender
Professor Jennifer Davidson, Executive Director, Centre for Excellence for Children’s Care and Protection (CELCIS) and Inspiring Children’s Futures, University of Strathclyde
David Eiser, Research Fellow, Fraser of Allander Institute
Chris Keates, General Secretary, NASUWT, The Teacher’s Union
Norman Kerr OBE, Director, Energy Action Scotland
Lieut Colonel Carol Bailey, Secretary for Scotland, The Salvation Army
Mary Anne MacLeod, Research and Policy Officer, Menu for Change