The Church of Scotland, alongside over 150 organisations in the country, has united with campaigners in urging the First Minister to uphold his commitment and allocate substantial additional funds to address child poverty.
A collective open letter urges Humza Yousaf to fulfil his promise by raising the Scottish Child Payment to a minimum of £30 per week in the upcoming budget. According to independent analysis, a payment of £40 per week is deemed necessary to effectively align with government targets for reducing child poverty.
Emphasising the importance of providing support and resources to all families for their well-being, the group believes the Scottish Child Payment is crucial for those in the greatest need and has not seen an increase in 16 months. For Emma Jackson, a member of the Church's Public Life and Social Justice Programme Group, the Scottish Government has a moral obligation to prioritise low-income families.
Official estimates from the Scottish Government indicate that, after housing costs, approximately 24 per cent of children (equivalent to 250,000 children annually) were living in relative poverty in the period from 2019 to 2022. The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act of 2017 set a goal for the year 2030, to reduce the number to below 10 per cent.