Scottish Labour Leadership contender, Richard Leonard today supported Amendment 42, intended to top-up child benefit, to become part of the Child Poverty Bill.
Richard Leonard, who has been calling for a £5 increase in child benefit for every child in Scotland, said:
“Today 260,000 Scottish children live in poverty, that’s an increase of 40,000 from the previous year and our poorest children are among some of the least healthy in Europe.
“Ending child poverty is the challenge this generation must meet as our legacy to the next. Far too many of our children have their life chances diminished as a result of the economic circumstances they are born into.
“I am backing the Give Me Five campaign one hundred per cent. Poverty currently affects one in four children in Scotland. A £5 a week top up to child benefit would lift 30,000 children out of poverty, with all that spells for their long term future.”
‘I am also pleased that the Scottish Government accepted my amendment, aimed at ensuring that resources to help tackle child poverty given to local government are targeted to areas where they are needed most’
Following his visit to Shotts Family Learning Centre today Richard added,
“I’d like to thank the dedicated staff and the lovely children at Shotts Family Learning Centre for welcoming me today - the fantastic work they do in the heart of community is vital to providing a safe, happy and healthy childhood.
“We need to provide the best start for every child and ensure each child in Scotland is secure and able to realise their potential at school and then in turn as they enter adulthood. Their learning and their futures should not be hindered due to a hungry stomach, or missing out on life experiences, such as school trips, which enrich their lives."