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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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IFS Report 'A Wake Up Call to Westminster'

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

SUCCESSIVE UK GOVERNMENT’S ‘SHAMEFUL RECORD’

SNP Work and Pensions Spokesperson Eilidh Whiteford today (Tuesday) described the UK Government’s record on tackling child poverty as a tragedy as the IFS and Joseph Rowntree Foundation published figures showing that 17% of children in the UK were living in absolute poverty in 2009 – 10 with that figure set to rise over the next two years.

According to the report’s authors, the UK Government is unlikely to meet its target of reducing child poverty by 2020.

Commenting, Dr Whiteford said:

“These figures must be a wake-up call for the UK Government over the impact that their savage cuts are having on the most vulnerable.

“Children wherever they are born deserve the best possible start in life. While the Scottish Government is focussed on tackling the root causes of poverty such as education, health, employment, skills and housing, kids across the country are still being let down by Westminster.

“The record of successive UK Government’s on tackling child poverty is shameful. After thirteen years, Labour singularly failed to close the gap between rich and poor created during the Thatcher years.

“The aggressive deficit reduction policies of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are hitting family incomes, making it harder to make ends meet.

“Meanwhile, Labour MPs who failed to tackle the problem whilst in government and sat on their hands through a vital vote in opposition. In February 2011, MPs had the chance to vote down the UK Government’s plans to link benefits to the consumer price index instead of the retail price index.

“This would have given hard pressed families some breathing room but Labour abstained with only one Scottish MP brave enough to break party ranks and join the SNP in voting against.”


More details of the IFS Study can be read here: http://www.ifs.org.uk/pr/poverty_pr_1011.pdf

Katy Clark was the only Scottish MP to vote against the move to link benefits and pensions to CPI instead of RPI: http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2011-02-17&number=212

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