UK

Half Scottish constituencies have a quarter of children in poverty, study finds

The data by the End Child Poverty Coalition showed every Glasgow constituency was ranked in the top 10 for child poverty rates.

New statistics revealed the percentage of children in poverty by Westminster constituencies in Scotland.
New statistics revealed the percentage of children in poverty by Westminster constituencies in Scotland. (Danny Lawson/PA)

At least a quarter of children are living in poverty in more than half of Scotland’s Westminster constituencies, figures estimate.

Statistics produced by Loughborough University for the End Child Poverty Coalition gave an estimate for all UK constituencies being contested on July 4.

In Scotland, child poverty rates vary by constituency, however, the figures show none has fewer than one in eight children in poverty, while 54% of the 57 seats have at least 25% of children in poverty.

The coalition, which is made up of 120 organisations, put all six Glasgow constituencies in the top six areas with the highest poverty rates, with Glasgow South West having an estimated 6,973 children (37.6%) in poverty and Glasgow South East having 6,831 (37.4%).

The report also placed Glenrothes and Mid Fife in the top 10, where 6,162 (32.8%) of children are considered to be in poverty, followed by 5,056 in Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock (31.6%), North Ayrshire and Arran with 5,282 (24.2%), and Airdrie and Shotts with 5,823 (31%).

John Dickie, of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “These figures are yet another stark reminder of why child poverty needs to be the top priority for every candidate in next month’s General Election.

“We need each and every candidate to commit to ensuring the next UK government puts in place a robust strategy to tackle child poverty, including scrapping poverty-producing policies like the two-child limit.

“Scotland’s children need governments at every level to work together to end the poverty that blights so many of their lives.”

As the data only covers the period up to 2022-23, it does not capture the full rollout of the Scottish Government’s Scottish child payment.

Analysis of the data found 14% of children in Glasgow South West – the region worst affected – were impacted by the UK-wide two-child benefit cap, as of April 2023.

The policy, introduced in 2017, restricts child tax and universal credits to the first two children in most households.

The Department for Work and Pensions has been asked for comment.