New figures published today (15 October) highlight the “scandal” of child poverty in Dumfries and Galloway, according to local Labour politicians Russell Brown and Elaine Murray.
The report, compiled for the Campaign to End Child Poverty by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University, has revealed that 23% of children in the Dumfries and Galloway region are living in poverty.
The number of children in Dumfries & Galloway UK Parliamentary In-work poverty in 2013 was 3013. The number of children in Dumfries & Galloway in Out of work poverty in 2013 was 1207.
In Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale UK Parliamentary constituency, the number of children in In-work poverty in 2013 was 2503. The number of children in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale in Out of work poverty in 2013 was 876.
Commenting on the figures, Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown said, “These figures show just how widespread the problem of child poverty is within Dumfries and Galloway. There is a belief by some people that you don’t have poverty in rural areas but this report exposes that as a myth. It is little short of scandal that child poverty has risen in Scotland in the last few years. I am pleased that the council are taking the lead locally in working with other agencies to develop Dumfries and Galloway’s first ever anti-poverty strategy. However, sadly the policies of both the Scottish and UK Governments are making the problem of child poverty in our region worse not better. Poverty is not inevitable. Government needs to tackle the root causes of poverty by for example increasing the National Minimum Wage to alleviate the appalling levels of low pay we have in Dumfries and Galloway and imposing a freeze on energy prices to deal with the cost of living crisis too many families are facing”.
Dumfriesshire MSP Elaine Murray said “It is extremely disturbing just how serious the problem of child poverty is in our area. What is particularly damning is the fact there are more than twice as many children living in poverty in families who work compared to those in families out of work. This reinforces what we have been saying for a long time; low wages are fuelling poverty in Dumfries and Galloway and action needs to be taken by the Scottish and UK Governments to resolve this.”