Child poverty figures revealed

Foodbanks were introduced to help households in need.
Foodbanks were introduced to help households in need.

Figures released by campaigners on child poverty reveal Glasgow as having the highest number of children living in poor conditions.

Statistics by the local authority constituency show 33 per cent of children in Glasgow — and 15 per cent in East Renfrewshire — as living on the breadline.

Neil Mathers, of the Campaign to End Child Poverty which commissioned the report, called upon politicians in Holyrood and Westminster to “act to tackle the root causes of poverty”.

He called for a complete rethink on laws that affect people struggling to make ends meet, including taxes, housing, rent and low income.

Mathers said: “It is important to look behind these figures at what is driving this level of poverty in our country.”

A spokesman for East Renfrewshire council said: “We are looking at tackling poverty, domestic violence, substance misuse and to build better foundations for all children.”

Glasgow city council leader Gordon Matheson said: “Glasgow has been transformed in recent years, including massive investment in social housing as a result of the removal of our housing debt.

“The council’s Poverty Leadership Panel reflects the priority we give to this issue, but to make a long-term impact we must all work with a shared determination to eliminate the unnecessary scourge of poverty and, above all, the local communities who bear the brunt of poverty.”

In the last year alone, almost a million families have been given three-day supplies of food essentials from foodbanks, according to the Trussel Trust which manages the foodbanks programme.

A spokesman said: “In 2013-14 foodbanks fed 913,138 people nationwide. Of those helped, 330,205 were children.”

He added that rising food and fuel prices, static incomes, underemployment and changes to benefits are some of the reasons why increasing numbers are being referred to foodbanks for emergency food.