Scottish Labour radical 10-point plan to tackle child poverty, through profound and lasting “structural change”, would benefit 240,000 children in Scotland, including nearly 3,000 in East Lothian.
The plan includes bold measures to scrap the discredited and punitive Universal Credit system, its perverse two-child limit and the benefits cap. This will be replaced with a new social security system that treats people with dignity.
The punitive sanctions regime, which the Tories have imposed on the poorest in our society without remorse, will also be scrapped and replaced with a new, more humane system based on decency and reciprocity.
A £10 an hour living wage along with Labour’s Jobs Plan for Scotland, which would invest at least £70billion in Scotland’s industries, housing and public services and create new, well-paid, high-skilled jobs Scotland will tackle the high rates of in work poverty in Scotland.
These would complement a series of radical measures in Holyrood to reduce child poverty long term and tackle the inequalities those currently living in poverty face.
These include building 120,000 social homes over ten years, the introduction of flexible, all-age, all-year, wrap-around affordable early years’ childcare, free meals at weekends and holidays for school pupils across Scotland, a minimum income guarantee for young carers and a new fund to help low income families pay for school trip that would be otherwise unaffordable.
Martin Whitfield said:
“Labour’s plans will make a real difference to the lives of families in East Lothian and help ensure children can be free from the fear of poverty and enjoy an acceptablequality of life.
“This shows what a Labour Government can do for this area. If re-elected as MP for East Lothian I would proudly support this policy alongside all of Labour’s other transformative plans that will be of benefit to my constituents, providing the real change they need.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:
“A combination of callous Tory welfare reform and SNP timidity has allowed the unforgivable to happen – child poverty in Scotland in rising. The government’s own figures tell us one in four children live in poverty, and the majority of these are from working families.
“This is a disgrace that blights our society and demonstrates the glaring need for radical, structural change. But the SNP’s response so far has been a series of piecemeal interventions, pet projects and one-off trials.
“This election is a once in a generation opportunity to create a fairer society. When Labour wins, Scotland wins.”