Local MSP for the Linlithgow Constituency, Fiona Hyslop, has called for action from the Scottish and UK Governments to address child poverty, a key cause of health inequality, in the Scottish Parliament.
Fiona spoke in the Scottish Parliament during the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee Debate: Tackling Health Inequalities in Scotland, which was brought to the Chamber of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 14th December, following the recent publication of the Committee’s report, Tackling Health Inequalities in Scotland.
Following the debate, Fiona said;
‘Poverty is one of the driving factors behind health inequalities. In order to reduce health inequality in Scotland, it is clear we must tackle poverty and inequality as a whole.
‘Tackling poverty in the early years of the lives of our children in Scotland is essential in ensuring that they are not negatively impacted by inequality later in life.
‘I welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling child poverty in Scotland which is evident across policy areas. For example, the recent increase in the Scottish Child Payment to £25 per week will be invaluable to families across my Constituency in dealing with the Cost of Living Crisis.
‘7,105 applications for the Scottish Child Payment were submitted from families in West Lothian as of 30 September 2022. However, with West Lothian Council estimating that 8,740 children were living in relative poverty in West Lothian in the year 2019-20, it is clear more needs to be done.
‘With the economic powers required to tackle widening economic inequality reserved to the UK Government, who currently preside over one of the highest levels of income inequality in the G20, it is clear that Scotland must become Independent to secure the full host of powers required to address inequality and put an end to child poverty in Scotland.’