MSP Rona Mackay has welcomed the publication of the Child Poverty Bill (Scotland) as a “massive step forward” in tackling the endemic problem.
She cited times in the Children’s Panel when she saw the visible effects of young people living in poverty, and the damage it caused their own lives and their families’.
The Bill, published on Friday February 10, will see Scotland become the only part of the UK with statutory targets to reduce the number of children experiencing the damaging effects of poverty by 2030.
The government will publish a three-year child poverty delivery plan by April 2018, updated every five years, and annual reports to measure the progress.
Ms Mackay, MSP for Strathkelvin and Bearsden, said: “This bill is a massive step forward in the wounds child poverty has inflicted upon communities the length and breadth of Scotland. I am particularly pleased this anti-poverty drive’s emphasis is on the children – the reason I am in politics to begin with.
“All too often, as a member of the Children’s Panel, I saw the effects poverty would have upon young people of all ages. Young people falling into antisocial behaviour, alcohol and drug problems – all associated with living in deprivation. It is truly heart-breaking to see so much potential from many children, simply because they have been brought up below the breadline, through no fault of their own.
“Children need and deserve the best start to life as possible to gain their full potential. This is at the heart of the Child Poverty Bill.”