A new report highlighting that 24.3% of children in Dumfries and Galloway are living in poverty has been described as a ‘scandal’.

The damning indictment on the state of child poverty in the country has shown the true extent of the difficulties local children are facing daily. The report commissioned by the End Child Poverty Coalition surveyed the entire country evaluating the state of poverty among children growing up in Scotland. The report showed that Dumfries and Galloway’s children find themselves among the worst affected by child poverty.

Responding to the Child Poverty Map published today (8 November), Colin Smyth MSP said:

“This research shows that almost one in four children in Dumfries and Galloway are growing up in poverty and that is a scandal. Both the UK Government and the Scottish Government are failing to prioritise tackling child poverty as a key issue, yet it is so damaging to our communities.

The UK Conservative Government needs to end their failing welfare reforms and the Scottish Government needs to stop their cuts to local councils. Dumfries and Galloway Council has seen millions taken from its budget over the years and it is impacting the council’s ability to reduce poverty across the region. This is much needed money that could be spent on helping lift children out of poverty. It is time the Scottish Government rethought their strategy of cutting budgets, and invested in communities.

Scottish Labour will be putting forward amendments to the Scottish budget so that the Scottish Parliament can use its powers to stop the cuts. It is now the time for action to prevent further children slipping into poverty, and we believe it should have the support of all parties.

In Dumfries and Galloway our children deserve better.”

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