If you are a born and bred scot or have even lived in Scotland you have probably never noticed how deprived our Scottish children are. Over 220,000 Scottish children are officially recognised as living in poverty, that’s more than one in five children being hungry and cold. This terrifying figure is set to rise more than 50% by 2020.
What Exactly Is Child Poverty?
There are a few indicators that put children under the poverty line, child poverty can be defined as children that grow up in families that do not have the enough resources to obtain a healthy diet, get involved with external activities or have appropriate living conditions.
Children can be classed as living under the poverty line if their parents or guardians have less than 60% of the average income. This measurement is used by both the UK Government and the Scottish Government.
On average a family with two parents and children need over £349 a month in order to be over the poverty line, therefore this figure provides a picture of what the living conditions are like for children under the poverty line.
How Is Child Poverty Caused?
There is a range of factors that contribute inadequate income which leads to child poverty in Scotland, these include; unemployment, low wages and low benefit amounts.
Unemployment is a huge reason why so many children in Scotland are under the poverty line as the parents are not getting a steady income to support their family and children.
A family household where no-one has a paid job is most likely to experience poverty as they are unable to afford the necessary requirements for their children.
Although some households may have a paying job, there may not be getting paid an adequate amount, that will sustain their family. Low wages and low hours are another cause of children being under the poverty line in Scotland.
Due to the new benefit cuts imposed by the UK Government, benefits have been cut and people are losing out, this can affect children as they may not receive the same necessities they have previously received. As prices of food and housing rise and the benefits decrease, it is no wonder that household with children on benefits suffer.
What Needs to Be Done to Help Our Children?
To help the Scottish children under the poverty line we need to tackle and help the parents and guardians to ensure they are given enough income to support their children. Income in one of the most important aspects of poverty, therefore we need to ensure that the household under the poverty line is given support.
Increasing the benefit amount of families with children under the poverty line should allow the families to have enough money to provide their children with adequate necessities to bring them out of poverty.
As some household do not have enough income to provide their children with nourishing food in the morning, free school meals should be offered to the children that are in poverty as this would give them a good start to the day and give them enough food to get through the day.
Help The Scottish Children Get Out of Poverty
The sad reality is that a huge portion of the children in Scotland is under the poverty line, having little food and shelter. This is a huge problem for Scotland and we need to help out children live better lives.