The impact of poverty costs the Scottish economy up to £2.4 billion a year

Successive Scottish and UK governments’ failure to address the problem has caused “significant damage to individuals, public services and the economy,” it said.

People over 30 who experienced childhood poverty have about 25 percent lower income and eight times higher unemployment rates than those who did not.

This means, according to the report’s authors, that between £1.6 billion and £2.4 billion a year, up to 1.5% of Scotland’s GDP, ‘was lost to historic child poverty in Scotland’.

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The paper, produced by think tank IPPR Scotland and charities Save the Children and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, also estimates that the poorest Scottish households face a £2.7 billion “financial insecurity gap”, the difference between ” where they are and where they need it”. be”.

This equated to 350,000 households being ‘short-cut’ by an average of £7,000 a year from policies by the Scottish and UK Governments which failed to ensure a decent standard of living through social security, fair work and tackling inequality.

The report said there is a “moral imperative” to fight poverty and “overwhelming evidence of the magnitude of the damage caused and resulting from government failure”.

These included that people in the most deprived areas were four times more likely to die prematurely than those in the most affluent areas, and that there was a persistent gap in educational attainment between students from the most and least deprived communities.

The report also attempted to assess the impact of poverty on public services.

Around a fifth, or £2.3 billion, of the Scottish Health Authorities’ budget is earmarked for tackling the effects of poverty, while around a quarter of a billion pounds is spent each year on tackling the effects of poverty in schools.

However, the report’s authors warned that these could be “significant underestimates”.

The analysis also pointed to successful interventions, such as the 600 hours of free childcare in Scotland, which lifted an estimated 10,000 adults and children out of poverty by increasing parents’ incomes and reducing childcare costs.

The recent expansion to 1,140 hours would benefit even more children, it said.

The lower cost of social housing rents in Scotland compared to private housing also kept at least 50,000 people out of poverty, saving the UK government around £250m in welfare payments.

By maximizing the uptake of Universal Credit by beneficiaries, people would get a further £1.9billion.

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Philip Whyte, IPPR Scotland director and co-author of the report, said: “Every child should have a warm, happy home with food on the table and dreams to pursue – but that is not the reality for many.” Instead, we stand facing a growing backlog of damages as billions of pounds are lost to the economy every year.

“Despite decades of rhetoric about pre-emptive investing, we still see a vicious cycle of avoidable costs forcing reactive spending, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

“We can seize the opportunity to invest seriously in the things that we know will create lasting change, and that can be cost-effective and good for the economy.

“While we have a political consensus on tackling poverty in Scotland, both governments need to go further and faster and use the full extent of their powers.

“The price is great and the price of inaction is too high – we literally can’t afford not to.”

Claire Telfer, Scotland director of Save the Children, called on the UK and Scottish governments to “realign” their spending to prevent poverty.

She said: “Today’s report clearly shows that these are not just compelling moral arguments that need to be addressed

child poverty there is an economic case for doing more.”

Paul O’Kane, spokesman for Scotland’s Labor Party for Social Justice, said: “This damning report highlights the damage Scotland’s shameful levels of poverty are doing to our communities and our economy.”

“Increasing poverty has created misery on an individual level and made us all poorer.

“Both our governments have failed to fight the scourge of poverty. The Tories are putting pressure on the people with their destructive policies and the SNP refuses to use its power to tackle poverty at its roots.

“We need to raise wages and grow our economy across the UK while we take urgent action here to make housing, childcare and transport affordable in Scotland.”

Alex Cole-Hamilton, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said: “During my time as a youth worker I have seen the persistent and devastating toll that poverty takes on households, families and communities.

“Today’s report shows that our two governments are spending billions on tackling the symptoms instead of tackling the root causes and preventing people from falling into poverty in the first place.

“The time for talking shop and ministerial platitudes is over. We need decisive and transformative action now.

“The Scottish Liberal Democrats would make publicly funded childcare far more flexible for people outside the labor market, identify and provide help to anyone who has suffered adverse childhood experiences and launch a nationwide isolation program to ensure everyone has a warm and safe home for their.” own.”

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A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The First Minister convened a Poverty Reduction Summit earlier this month to underpin Scotland’s efforts to tackle poverty and inequality.

“Tackling poverty and protecting people from harm are the Scottish Government’s priorities.

“That’s why we committed almost £3 billion both last year and this year to support action to fight poverty and protect people during the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.”

“Most of the key policy levers needed to deal with the cost of living crisis still rest with the UK government. We continue to urge them to use all the levers at their disposal to address this emergency to the extent needed.”

A UK Government spokesman said: “Since 2010 we have lifted nearly two million people out of absolute poverty and launched a £94 billion aid package worth around £3,300 per household to help those most in need.”

“This comes on top of an unprecedented increase in the national living wage, increasing benefits by 10.1% and reducing energy bills.

“Our priority is to work with the Scottish Government on the issues that matter to people across Scotland, including growing our economy and helping people with the cost of living.

“That’s why we’ve donated an extra £82m to help people in Scotland with essential costs.”

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