MPs call for action on poverty in Scotland

By Tom Lloyd

| 17 December 2007

The UK government's efforts to tackle child poverty have been effective in Scotland, but MPs have said more needs to be done.

In a report Parliament’s Scottish Affairs Select Committee said success in tackling poverty has mainly been due to economic factors, such as the minimum wage.

The MPs on the committee are calling for the minimum wage to be extended to young people on apprenticeships, or employed as work-based trainees.

But they are also calling for the government to do more to address other obstacles to overcoming poverty, such as inadequate childcare, geographical isolation, disability, and lack of self-confidence.

The report states: “A considerable amount of work will be needed to remove these obstacles and we are not confident that the government appreciates the scale of the task it faces.”

The committee has decided to publish the results of its inquiry into poverty in two parts. The first looks at the general issues, a second – which has not yet been published – will look at child poverty.

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