There are over 2500 more children living in relative poverty in Glasgow than before the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report has confirmed.
Information included in an Integrated Joint Board (IJB) document reveals that there are 27,995 children living in poverty compared to 25,485 in February 2020. The report indicates that poverty levels have deepened and on average families in relative poverty are now £115 per week below the poverty line compared to £107 per week pre pandemic.
During Wednesday’s meeting, an officer confirmed that officials had looked into how poverty impacted on a child’s life.
She said: “There is an increase in the number of children living in poverty of 2500 compared to pre-pandemic which takes us to just under 28,000 children living in poverty.
“Our report looks at the three key drivers: income from work, outgoings and access to benefits.
“We have a number of services that are providing better access to financial advice and we work to support families in crisis.”
Under the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017, each local authority and NHS Board has a statutory duty to jointly develop and publish annual Local Child Poverty Action Reports.
The Act sets out four ambitious targets for 2030:
- Less than 10% of children living in relative poverty – where income is below 60% of the middle household income in the UK
- Less than 5% of children living in absolute poverty – where income is below the poverty threshold from 2010/11.
- Less than 5% of children living combined low income and material deprivation – the proportion of children in families that cannot afford basic essential goods and services because of a low income
- Less than 5% of children in persistent poverty
During the meeting, members discussed the statistics which confirmed in Glasgow 24% of children are still living in relative poverty while 21% of children were in absolute poverty.
The pandemic has also resulted in an additional 1650 children in lone parent families living in relative poverty.
Speaking about the figures, IJB member John Matthews, said: “This report is concerning. We are about trying to improve these situations and to get that look of excitement on the look of every child.”
And IJB member Simon Carr said: “The report is pretty grim actually. The figures set out the government’s long term targets but we are way off.
“These are terrible statistics but it is likely they are even worse as it doesn’t take into account the 2500 further children in poverty.
“The chances of us meeting the 2030 target is nil. We are firing a lot of money on this but we don’t know what the impact will be.
“We know people in poverty become unwell. Their health is poorer and we will be dealing with the consequences of their health and wellbeing for years to come.
“This report doesn’t tell us what investment is needed to get us on the right track.”
Officers agreed to look at the question offline and bring the answers back to a future committee.