Category Archives: Child Poverty

MP Criticises Lack of Action Over Child Poverty in Aberdeen

Dame Anne criticises lack of action over child poverty in Aberdeen as recent figures show 18% of children in Aberdeen grow up in poverty.

Aberdeen South MP, Dame Anne Begg, says that only Labour’s plans to tackle the cost of living will help reduce child poverty in Aberdeen.

The release of the child poverty map by the Campaign to End Child Poverty showed that 18 per cent of children in Aberdeen are living in poverty after meeting housing costs. This is on the back of recent news that unemployment in Aberdeen South is 1 per cent.

Commenting on the report Dame Anne said: “Despite unemployment in Aberdeen South sitting at one percent, children are still living in poverty. We have an acute housing shortage, energy bills soaring, and jobs aren’t paying enough.

“We face the biggest housing crisis in a generation and both Tories in Westminster and Nationalists in Holyrood are letting children down.

“The Tories always say work is the best route out of poverty, but we can see in Aberdeen that simply isn’t the case.”

Dame Anne went onto criticise the Scottish Government: “The SNP have failed to use the measures open to them to mitigate the impact of Tory policies like the bedroom tax.  The SNP have refused to use all the Scottish Welfare fund and the fuel poverty budget, at a time when 900,000 households are in fuel poverty.

“Labour has endorsed the comprehensive plan set out by Sir Michael Lyons Housing Review, the first of its kind in a generation, which shows how Labour will meet their commitment of building 200,000 homes a year by 2020 and sets a course for doubling the number of first-time buyers by 2025. Labour will also increase the minimum wage, and freeze energy bills.

“Only Labour has a plan to tackle the cost of living crisis and help lift children out of poverty in Aberdeen.”

MP Visits Home-Start Aberdeen

Anne visited Home-Start Aberdeen with her colleague Richard Baker MSP on Monday 6th October to mark Home-Start’s manifesto which was launched in Westminster in July.

Home-Start aims to support families under stress offering friendship together with emotional and practical support and the manifesto highlights the issues that Home-Start families are facing.

In Aberdeen, each year around 100 Home-Start volunteers work with approximately 200 families including over 500 children. Home-Start Aberdeen also manages the Recipe for Life project to provide practical assistance to prepare nutritious food and runs a charity chop at 101 George Street.

    Home Start Aberdeen with Anne and Richard2

During the visit, Scheme Manager Georgette Cobban spoke about the variety of families they support across the city and the many reasons why families are referred to them. She also spoke about their recent initiative to recruit 50 volunteers over 50 weeks to allow them to meet the demand for their service.

For more information about Home-Start Aberdeen, go to http://www.homestartaberdeen.org.uk/

The manifesto can be read in full at http://www.home-start.org.uk/about_us/what_we_do/manifesto

Let’s Tackle Low Pay and Deal with the Cost of Living Crisis

Hard-working families in Aberdeen South are struggling as they face the greatest cost of living crisis in a generation.

Wages have gone up slower than prices for 39 out of 40 of the months David Cameron has been Prime Minister and many hard-working families struggle to make ends meet. Average wages are over £1,500 lower than they were when the Tories came into power in 2010 and year after year people are working harder, for longer, for less.

Thousands of hard-working people in Aberdeen South get up early to go to work, do the right thing and yet struggle to pay their bills. It can’t be right that we’ve now reached the point where more of the people bringing up families in poverty are in work than out of work.

We need to make sure work always pays which is why Ed Miliband has this week announced plans to introduce Make Work Pay contracts that will help businesses raise wages for millions of low-paid workers, and help the next Labour government cut social security bills for the taxpayer.

Firms that sign up to paying their employees the living wage, currently £8.80 in London and £7.65 elsewhere, in the first year of the next Parliament will be offered a 12 month tax rebate of up to £1,000 for each individual worker that receives a pay rise.

The money would be fully funded from increased income tax and National Insurance revenues. Additional savings in lower tax credits and benefit payments, as well as increased tax revenues in future years, will cut social security bills and help pay down the deficit.

Make Work Pay contracts will benefit employees, businesses and the British taxpayer. Low-paid workers will be paid more, firms will receive a tax rebate and will benefit from higher staff morale, increased productivity and lower turnover of staff, and the taxpayer will see a reduced social security bill from lower spending on tax credits and benefits for people in low paid work.

Thousands of families in Aberdeen South are struggling to deal with the rising cost of living and encouraging more firms to pay their employees the living wage is a positive way of really helping people deal with the cost of living crisis.

‘Send My Friend to School’ campaign

Dame Anne Begg, MP for Aberdeen South, has written to the Prime Minister, David Cameron MP, urging him to ensure that every child is in education by 2015.

You can read Dame Anne’s letter to the Prime Minister.

Dame Anne received correspondence from Primary 5 pupils at Walker Road School and S1/S2 pupils at Kincorth Academy highlighting their disappointment that many children still have to learn in overcrowded classes as there are not enough teachers. They also enclosed drawings of their ideal teacher listing attributes such as helpful, approachable, encouraging and caring.Walker Road Tell Anne about their ideal teacher

Dame Anne said, “Every year I receive correspondence from local schools supporting the ‘Send my Friend to School’ campaign and it is heartening to see local children in Aberdeen South campaigning on behalf of other children around the world.

“I am sure that teachers will also be reassured that the pupils have given so much thought to what makes an ideal teacher.”

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Send My Friend To School campaign