Document Abstract

How much would it cost to reduce child poverty in Scotland? The financial scale of child poverty in Scotland

Looks at the financial scale of the child poverty in Scotland and estimates the financial cost of bringing relative child poverty down to the Scottish government’s targets. Explains that the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 created a number of targets to be met by 2030 including: less than 10% of children live in households that are in relative poverty; and less than 5% of children live in households that are in absolute or persistent poverty. Analyses data from a sample of 8,000 Scottish families from the latest three waves of the Family Resources Survey, between 2013/14 and 2015/16, using IPPR Scotland’s microsimulation tax-benefit model. Looks at how the costs of reducing the child poverty gap might be affected by varying the child element of the universal credit and ending the benefit cap and two-child limit. Considers the impacts of a potential universal basic income and ‘minimum income guarantee’ on child poverty rates in Scotland. Estimates that: meeting the target of reducing relative child poverty in Scotland down to 10% would cost £3.8 billion per year, removing around 190,000 children from poverty; to reach a relative child poverty rate of 5% would cost £10.2 billion per year, taking around 240,000 children out of poverty; and the most effective means of reducing relative child poverty, using existing benefits payments, would be increasing the child element of universal credit.


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Gunson, Russell; Baxter, Darren Stirling, Alfie
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IPPR Scotland

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