One in five Scottish children missing out on basic essentials, study shows

One in every five children in Glasgow missed out on basic necessities because of their family’s low income, new figures have revealed.

Across Scotland, 21% of children were living without essentials such as a winter coat or somewhere outside to play.

The ‘children in families with limited resources’ measure looks at families that have both low income and cannot afford three or more out of a list of 22 basic necessities for their child.

Glasgow had the highest proportion of children living in poverty, according to the experimental research with 43%, followed by South Ayrshire, where 36% of children are in struggling families.

East Lothian and Aberdeenshire were the two least-affected areas, with each having just 5% of children included in the poverty measure.

The official Scottish Government statistics also show that children were more likely to have limited resources compared to Scotland as a whole if they lived in single-parent households (41%), or households with disabled adults (33%) or four or more children (39%).

Where there were at least two adults in employment in the home, just 5% of children were affected compared to 39% if not.

Responding to new data, Professor Steve Turner, from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) Scotland, said: “This latest data tells us that one in five children in Scotland continue to miss out on what most parents would see as a basic right, such as having a warm winter coat, having some new clothes, or an outdoor space to play in.

“The families finding it hardest to get by continue to struggle.

“The Scottish Government has acknowledged that poverty remains a problem and has recently published a series of proposals that aim to reduce relative child poverty to less than 10% by 2030.

“Babies born today will be children in 2030, so the time for talking is over and action is required now.

“One proposed action which RCPCH supports is the Best Start Foods scheme, which provides access to healthy food for families on low incomes and which may free up funds for parents to spend on their children’s other basic needs.

“Proposals like this will help give every child in Scotland equal opportunity to learn, live and thrive.”

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