The STUC is appalled that 100,000 children live in poverty in Scotland and will call on both the UK and Scottish Governments to take steps to end the scourge the of child poverty across Scotland.
Delegates called for a review of the benefit system to ensure that it acts as a genuine safety net against poverty; and a wider provision of good quality, affordable childcare to improve parents access to work and children’s education outcomes.
UNISON Scotland’s Kate Ramsden supporting an USDAW motion said that that the STUC had highlighted as far back as 2010 that cuts and austerity would lead to a rise in the numbers of children in poverty.
She said, ‘UNISON and the trade union movement has raised at every turn the shame of a society which allows one in five of our children to grow up in poverty. Most of these children are growing up in families that have at least one parent working, working for poverty pay. Many of them our members’
She told the STUC that ‘obscene cuts to welfare and a draconian sanctions policy have seen more and more families resort to food banks. Whilst the richest 1000 in the UK have seen their wealth increase by £190 billion – money that the rest of us can only dream of.
“This can’t be right. What kind of country do we live in that allows children to go hungry when there is so much wealth around?” slammed Kate
“The truth is that child poverty could be eradicated tomorrow if the political will was there to do it. If money can be found to renew Trident then money is there to take our children out of poverty. Heck even a fraction of that £190 billion would go a long way to ending child poverty.”
Kate called on all of us to challenge the low wage economy, to challenge the benefits system that fails to do what it was set up for and to create a decent and fair society where social justice prevails. The kind of society where no child has to grow up in poverty.