Modelling packages to meet Scotland’s child poverty targets

Around 1 in 4 children in Scotland live in relative poverty. This means they live in a
household with an income 60% below the UK median income after housing costs
have been deducted.

Child poverty can have serious and lifelong impacts across a range of outcomes,
and the Scottish Government have stated their aim to reduce significantly the
incidence of child poverty. The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 20172 includes a target
to reduce relative child poverty to 10% by 2030/31.

Meeting this target would represent an unprecedented reduction in child poverty
to levels not seen in Scotland certainly since the early 1990s when the current
statistical series began.

The purpose of the analysis in this report is to look at some of the large, national level,
devolved policy levers that the Scottish Government could use to meet the
targets. We have focussed on childcare, employability programmes and social

By analysing variations of these types of policies, and different combinations, this
analysis illustrates the scale of the impact on poverty and the associated costs and
benefits of different options. We envisage that this will be helpful for policymakers
and stakeholders who will be focused on developing actions for the next Tackling
Child Poverty Delivery plan, due to be published by the Scottish Government by the
end of March 2022.

The modelling approach developed within this report is one that
we hope will be emulated by the Scottish Government to ensure transparency and
robustness of the delivery plan.

This report has been made possible due to financial support from abrdn Financial
Fairness Trust and has been a collaborative project involving the Fraser of Allander
Institute at the University of Strathclyde, the Policy Evaluation Research Unit at
Manchester Metropolitan University and the Poverty Alliance.

Download a summary here.


Emma Congreve is a Senior Knowledge Exchange Fellow and Deputy Director at the Fraser of Allander Institute. Emma's work at the Institute is focussed on policy analysis, covering a wide range of areas of social and economic policy.  Emma is an experienced economist and has previously held roles as a senior economist at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and as an economic adviser within the Scottish Government.