SHOCKING statistics have been released showing that an estimated one in five children in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth are living in poverty.
The figures come from a study carried out by the End Child Poverty campaign, which show that for the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth area, Cumbernauld South has the highest percentage of children living in poverty at 22 per cent, with Abronhill, Kildrum and the Village totalling 21 per cent. Twenty per cent of children in Kilsyth are in the same situation.
Central Scotland List Labour MSP Mark Griffin pointed the finger at the SNP government to take responsibility for the stats, citing the recent rise in unemployment as a factor.
He said: “These figures should act as a wake-up call for the Scottish Government, who must use the powers they have to address this growing problem. The latest figures show that unemployment is rising in Scotland.
“If parents are out of work, the route towards poverty is increased for children in our community and across Lanarkshire. Work itself is the best route out of poverty.
“That is why the Scottish Government must do more to address the fact that 19,000 more people are out of work in Scotland than were in the last quarter.”
SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn also voiced his concerns.
He said: “The figures on Child Poverty in Scotland detailed in this report make for some shocking reading. Cumbernauld and Kilsyth is no where near the worst end of the spectrum but still we see three out of four wards in the area where there are one fifth or more of children living in poverty.
“While the Scottish Government is taking action to address this problem the fact remains that if the Scottish Parliament had more powers it would be better placed to deal with such issues. If we are to tackle this issue effectively then it is imperative that we have full control over all our economic levers to really tackle the scandal of child poverty in Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and across Scotland.”