Help Us Lift 90,000 Kids Out Of Poverty – Charity Calls For Grants To Aid Poor

Save The Children yesterday called on all MSPs to back their campaign for seasonal cash grants to lift 90,000 Scottish kids out of poverty.  A study by the charity showed that 60 per cent of low-income families would never have enough to live on.

They are now calling for two seasonal grants a year to be given to Scotland’s poorest families, including a winter grant to help with fuel and clothing costs. It is estimated these grants alone could take 90,000 Scots children above the poverty line.

Two separate motions backing the campaign have been laid in parliament by Labour’s Jackie Baillie and Nationalist MSP Sandra White. They have been supported by colleagues from all parties.

Jane Gibreel, Save The Children’s programme director for Scotland, said: “The response to our plea for seasonal grants has been phenomenal – from the public and the media, as well as the cross-party political support.

“It will continue to be the top priority for 2007. We urge everyone to get behind action for children living in poverty in Scotland. We all bear responsibility for this issue, it’s not an acceptable choice for a developed nation.”

Douglas Hamilton, Save The Children’s head of policy and research in Scotland, added: “Our campaign kick-started debates across Scottish society, within businesses, communities and the press.

“We hope more MSPs will make it a New Year’s resolution by putting this on their election agendas for 2007. We know it’s real and it’s happening in Scotland because children and families have told us.”

Meanwhile, an MSP yesterday called for a scheme pioneered in Bangladesh to be used to fight women’s poverty in Scotland.

Liberal Democrat MSP Nora Radcliffe said a system of microcredit could lift thousands of Scottish women out of poverty and contribute to the growth of the nation’s economy.