Doubling the Scottish Child Payment is a no brainer to relieve poverty

Child poverty levels in Scotland are a damning indictment of our country’s political class.

For 26 per cent of our kids to live in poverty is both infuriating and a tragic waste of potential.

Poverty affects educational opportunity, health outcomes and the ability to get a decent job.

However, slashing poverty rates is within the gift of the SNP Government and next month’s Budget must be used for this end.

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The Scottish Child Payment (SCP), worth £10 a week to low-income families, is perhaps Nicola Sturgeon’s best policy in Government.

It targets money where it is needed and ensures resources are used for poverty reduction.

The SCP is such a no-brainer that all the political parties backed doubling it at the recent Holyrood election.

But as the Poverty Alliance makes clear today, the payment needs to be doubled to £20 a week immediately.

Children are going hungry now and waiting a few years will only make their plight worse.

SNP budgets since 2007 have found money for council tax freezes, but this one must put poor children first.

Such a move would also draw a clear contrast between the priorities of the Tory Government and those of Holyrood.

Boris Johnson shamefully cut Universal Credit by £20 a week – taking food out of the mouths of the most vulnerable.

Increasing the SCP by the same amount would not only be morally right, but also would increase the pressure on Johnson for his heartless decision.

The Scottish Budget should be used to give children the best start in life – the Government must heed the Poverty Alliance’s call.

Obama’s so vital

Barack Obama is no longer in power but when he speaks, people still listen.

That’s why it was vital the former US president made the effort to attend COP26 in person.

Former US President Barack Obama speaks at the COP26 summit in Glasgow

Obama draws crowds and his message can resonate with people who may not normally engage with politics.

The Democrat is rightly angry that his successor as president did all he could to scupper the environmental gains achieved in recent years.

Trump is no longer in the White House but other leaders are still not getting serious on the climate crisis.

Obama was right to call out polluting nations like China and Russia for not engaging meaningfully with the summit.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping were conspicuous by their absence when world leaders met at the SEC last week.

They should have been in Glasgow.

Climate change is a subject that can no longer be ducked.

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