Readers' letters: Scotland has a proud record fighting child poverty

"Labour is doing much worse in tackling the issue of child poverty than the SNP”

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 22nd May 2021, 7:00 am
Photographer-Ian Georgeson-07921 567360
Case study, Child poverty, can be used for stock, child care, hardship, benefits
Photographer-Ian Georgeson-07921 567360 Case study, Child poverty, can be used for stock, child care, hardship, benefits

Scotland has proud child poverty record

Once again Ian Murray (News, 20 May) blames the SNP, with limited fiscal powers, for child poverty.

But he fails to mention that since February a Scottish Child Payment of £10 per week per child is available for low-income families, which is the most ambitious anti-poverty measure being undertaken anywhere in the UK.

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Save The Children figures from 2019-20, compiled before the Covid pandemic, showed 31% of children in Wales under Labour control were still living in poverty, compared to 30% in England and 24% in Scotland. Therefore, Labour is doing much worse in tackling this issue than the SNP.

Ian Murray claims Sir Keir Starmer gets it, but he can’t do anything about it as Labour, having lost one of its safest seats in Hartlepool, is still well behind in the polls despite the UK having the worst Prime Minister in living memory.

Scotland urgently needs to choose its own Covid recovery path through self-government rather than waiting for another generation before the Tories are removed from office.

Fraser Grant, Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh.

Don’t blame SNP Ian, challenge the Tories

In response to Ian Murray on child poverty, Scotland has introduced policies that have mitigated the worst effects of over a decade of savage Tory welfare cuts.

In addition to providing more social housing per capita than England or Wales, the Scottish government has offset the bedroom tax, introduced free school meals, eliminated tuition fees and prescription charges, provided free child care, frozen the regressive council tax and is introducing the Scottish child payment with plans to double it.

We are seeing signs of Tory austerity making a comeback with the announ-cement that the Universal Credit Covid uplift will be cut in October. Reducing poverty doesn’t stand a chance under the Tories.

Rather than continually snipe at the Scottish government, Scottish Labour should break from its London masters and represent Scotland’s interests, starting with supporting our right to govern ourselves. It might then start to become relevant again.

Only when Scotland has the full economic powers that independence brings will it be able to make the political choice to eradicate the scourge of poverty from all households.

Leah Gunn Barrett, Merchiston Crescent, Edinburgh.

Nuclear safety fears at weapons bases

The high number of safety incidents at nuclear bases in recent years highlight one of many good reasons for getting rid of nuclear weapons from Scotland and our world.

It was frightening to read that three of the most serious incidents took place at Coulport and Faslane - locations which are directly linked to the maintenance and hosting of the Trident nuclear weapons system .

Along with safety at the bases we also have nuclear warheads moving in trucks on Scottish roads every few weeks. Despite a number of senior military figures saying that nuclear weapons do not meet the country’s security needs, we still have to put up with housing these weapons of mass destruction in Scotland.

Time to join most other countries in the world and become nuclear weapons-free. We could then use the enormous sums of money such as the £205 billion earmarked for upgrading Trident for doing things like dealing with child poverty and providing affordable housing for families and individuals who cannot get on the housing ladder.

Arthur West, Joint Convener Scottish CND Trade Union Network, Irvine.