Shocking new statistics on Bute child poverty

Bute has a higher proportion of children living in poverty than anywhere else in the Argyll and Bute Council area, according to new research.
Bute has a higher proportion of children living in poverty than anywhere else in the Argyll and Bute Council area, according to new research.

One child in every four on Bute is living in poverty, according to disturbing new figures published this week.

Research carried out for the Campaign to End Child Poverty has found that after the cost of housing is taken into account, 26.5 per cent of children on Bute are living in poverty - the highest figure for any of the wards in the Argyll and Bute Council area.

The Argyll and Bute average is 19.24 per cent, according to information compiled by the Centre for Research in Social Policy (CRSP) at Loughborough University.

Across Scotland, more than 229,000 children are living below the breadline as part of families with an income of less than £204 a week after housing costs.

Labour’s Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant said: “Child poverty is always unacceptable and it is truly shocking that 20 per cent of children in the Argyll and Bute Council area are living in poverty.

“The SNP failed to act quickly enough to mitigate the impact of the Tories’ bedroom tax in Scotland and did so only after vigorous campaigns and intervention from Scottish Labour.

“In addition the Scottish Welfare Fund was underspent and likewise with the fuel poverty budget, at a time when 900,000 households are in fuel poverty, with some of the highest rates of fuel poverty occurring in the Highlands and Islands region.”

The latest statistics follow separate studies which found that parts of Rothesay are among the most deprived in Scotland, according to the Scottish Index on Multiple Deprivation; that the UK government’s welfare reforms have hit Bute harder than almost any other area of the Highlands and Islands; and that the island’s population fell by more than ten per cent between 2001 and 2011.