The Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) has expressed alarm at the impact the Scottish Government’s Draft Budget will have on councils’ ability to tackle child poverty.
COSLA today (Monday) warned that the Government has not considered successive years of cuts, or rising inflation and demand and have therefore put the Government’s own 2030 Child Poverty targets at risk.
The Scottish Government draft budget falls far short of what COSLA considers a fair settlement for Local Government. It results in a £95m (£300m real terms) cut to revenue and £117m (£130m real terms) cut to capital budgets. The impact of these cuts will continue to be felt.
COSLA Children and Young People Spokesperson Councillor Stephen McCabe said:
“Scottish and Local Government are supposed to have a joint priority to tackle child poverty in all forms.
“Councils lobbied the Government hard to address our concerns over child poverty by investing in the essential services that councils deliver – from Social Work services that support families to work through complex, deep-rooted issues to holiday lunch clubs that provide food and vital links to other services such as employability, income maximisation and housing.
“As the Budget stands, these services will be under threat and the central role that councils have in reaching the most vulnerable is once again not fully recognised. The risks of not investing include a generation of children continuing to live in poverty and unable to reach their full potential, homelessness, persistent unemployment in some families, hunger family breakdown and its wider societal costs to all parts of the public sector.
“We are calling on the Government and the Parliament to address these concerns, listen to our asks and prevent the loss of essential council services which communities rely upon.”