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Swinney vows to eradicate child poverty in Scotland

First Minister John Swinney has declared the eradication of child poverty as his “single most important objective”.

The SNP leader also pledged to grow the economy, tackle the climate emergency and deliver better public services.

Leading a minority administration, he also emphasised the need for MSPs to work collaboratively as he set out his policy agenda at Holyrood.

Opposition parties criticised the SNP’s record after 17 years in government.

 

Mr Swinney said he would reveal more details about his plans in a programme for government announcement before parliament’s summer recess begins on 29 June.

Repeating comments he has made since succeeding Humza Yousaf earlier this month, the first minister warned Scotland was facing severe financial challenges.

 

The first minister said child poverty “stands in the way of both social justice and economic growth”.

He pledged ยฃ16m of investment over two years to expanding access to childcare facilities with six early adopter community projects – which he said support low-income families to enter and sustain employment.

Ministers have a statutory target to cut the number of children living in households in relative poverty to below 10% by 2030.

A Scottish government report, published in March, found on average about 240,000 children (24%) were living in relative poverty after housing costs, over the period from 2020 to 2023.

Mr Swinney told MSPs his government would “work to create growth, create jobs and to maximise the huge economic opportunities that lie ahead”.

 

Alongside the programme for government, Mr Swinney said ministers would release a revised tax strategy and an infrastructure investment plan.

The government is also due to provide greater detail on its spending plans when it publishes its medium-term financial strategy.

June Programme for Government – gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

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