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Child Poverty Act and Delivery Plan

 Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017

In February 2017, we introduced the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament, which sets out targets to reduce the number of children experiencing the effects of poverty by 2030. Following scrutiny, the Bill was passed unanimously in the Scottish Parliament, and the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 received Royal Assent in December 2017.

The targets state that by 2030, of children living in Scottish households: 

  • less than 10% should be living in relative poverty (how many families are on low incomes compared with middle income households)

  • less than 5% should be living in absolute poverty (how many low income families are not seeing their living standards improving over time)

  • less than 5% should be living with combined low income and material deprivation (how many lower income families cannot afford basic necessities)

  • less than 5% should be living in persistent poverty (how many families live on low incomes three years out of four)

An explanation of the history of the targets can be found here: Origin of the child poverty targets

The latest child poverty estimates can be found here: Child poverty estimates

Child Poverty Delivery Plan

The Act requires Scottish Ministers to publish child poverty delivery plans at regular intervals, with annual reports to measure progress.

We published Every Child, Every Chance: the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2018-22 on 29 March 2018. It sets out new policies and proposals to help us make strong progress towards these targets. Its actions are organised in two ways:

  • Actions to make progress now on the three main drivers of child poverty (income from work and earnings; costs of living; income from social security)

  • A range of preventative actions that help children and young people avoid becoming parents in poverty by 2030 (this includes a focus on quality of life and partnership working).

Child Poverty Measurement Framework

As part of our annual reporting against the Delivery Plan, the Scottish Government will publish statistical indicators for each of the poverty drivers - the Child Poverty Measurement Framework. Monitoring these indicators over time will help us understand changes in performance against the targets. The proposed indicators are set out here: Child Poverty Measurement Framework

To build on the driver diagram published in Every Child, Every Chance, we have also drafted an outcomes framework and a theory of change: Drivers, outcomes and theory of change

These are intended to help us understand and explain whether and how the actions we take will impact on the poverty targets. We are publishing these in draft so that we can discuss them with our stakeholders and get feedback on them.

Tackling Child Poverty Evaluation Strategy

The Child Poverty Measurement Framework is one element of our Tackling Child Poverty Evaluation Strategy. The Evaluation Strategy sets out how we intend to monitor and evaluate action taken by Scottish Government and its partners to meet, by 2030, the four ambitious targets set out in the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017. It is available here: Evaluation Strategy


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