Third of Scottish children 'not getting fair start'

Published on Wednesday, 07 May 2014 11:16
Written by Govtoday staff

Thirty per cent of all children in Scotland live in the country's poorest households, which have almost no wealth - meaning they do not own property, have an occupational pension or savings, or own items such as cars and household goods.

Analysis of the Wealth and Assets Survey 2008-10 shows Scotland, like Great Britain as a whole, is a deeply unequal society with the wealthiest 10% of households owning 900 times the wealth of the least wealthy 10%.

The wealthiest 30% of households owned over three quarters of all private household wealth in Scotland, while the least wealthy 30% of households owned less than 2%.

Lone parent families and single working age adults are most likely to have little or no wealth.

Financial wealth and occupational pension wealth were the most unequally distributed, with the wealthiest 30% of Scottish households owning 81% of all financial wealth and 84% of occupational pension wealth. These households also owned 70% of all property wealth (land and houses).

Deputy first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "The UK is one of the most unequal countries in the developed world. Living standards have been falling for those on middle and low incomes, and the gap between rich and poor is getting wider.

"These alarming figures highlight that almost one third of our children are not getting a fair start in life.

"Our poorest households do not have the income needed to gain the wealth - and security - that comes from owning property or having pension wealth. Unless action is taken soon, this cycle of deprivation will continue, with more children continuing to be born into poverty.

"We're currently doing everything we can within our limited powers to tackle this huge inequality.

"However, the reality is that over the years the Westminster system has failed to properly address the deep social inequalities which exist in Scottish society, with generation after generation feeling the impact.

"Tackling and reversing this inequality requires key economic and social policy levers being in the hands of the Scottish government.

"That's why we need the full economic levers available to us to create a different approach - one that supports our most vulnerable, encourages people into the workplace and works towards making Scotland a more equal country to live and work."

Source: Scottish government

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