Child poverty figures are slammed

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Politicians on all sides have condemned statistics that show one in four children in South Ayrshire are living in poverty.

And Girvan and South Carrick independent councillor Alec Clark hit out at the figures which show that 31.37% of kids in the ward are living in poverty when housing costs are taken into account.

He said: “My initial reaction is that these are shocking statistics and it shows that people when they are trying to protect their family the sort of hardships they can get into.

“I think these stats underpin the facts that myself and fellow independent councillor Brian Connolly made at the budget discussions last year about a 5% rent increase in social housing.

“I argued that was unjust considering all the other pressures families are under.

“When you have rising utility bills along with low wage increases then there is a lot of pressure on families and it’s only human that they will choose to eat over paying a certain bill.

“I think that poverty is always going to be worse in rural communities as there simply aren’t the same opportunities in terms of employment as there are in urban communities.

“We must do all we can to try to alleviate child poverty and that comes at both a national and local level.”

SNP councillor for the Girvan and South Carrick ward Alec Oattes commented: “These child poverty figures nationally and locally are a damming indictment on the reality of modern day life in the United Kingdom.

“ I welcome this report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, but not the stark reality of the facts detailed in the report.

“The figures quoted in this official UK Government document of child poverty standing at over 20% in Girvan and South Carrick is a disgrace. “There is increasing international evidence that more equal societies almost always do better on a whole range of measures, clearly the United Kingdom is an increasingly divided nation socially and in wealth terms and this needs to be addressed”.

Labour councillor John McDowall reacted: “It is an absolute disgrace that nearly one third of children in Girvan and South Carrick are living in poverty.

“I think this is down to a combination of things including austerity measures and wages continuing to remain low.

“At both a local government and national government level we need to come up with a strategy in order to ensure that figure comes down.

“We can do that by ending austerity measures. Do they need to be as draconian as they are?

“We can also increase child care provision in order for mothers to go to work and increase employment for people in general.

“It is also disgraceful that in the 21st century Scots are having to go to foodbanks in order to put food on the table for their families.”