Nearly one quarter of children in two East Kilbride postcode areas are ‘living in poverty’

Nearly a quarter of children in two East Kilbride postcodes are living in poverty.

New figures have revealed how many youngsters throughout Scotland are facing financial trouble and a disadvantaged background.

Data from the Office for National Statistics, published for all areas of the UK, showed that 175,009 kids in Scotland were below the breadline in March last year, up from 158,781 in March 2015 – or one in seven in Scotland.

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The worst affected area in East Kilbride was Greenhills, with 22 per cent of youngsters there classed as being in child poverty.

The second highest area was The Murray with 20 per cent of children living below the breadline.

Other struggling areas include Westwood South, Calderwood East and Whitehills West, where 16 per cent of children in each postcode area are living in poverty.

Elsewhere, Calderwood West and Nerston are on 15 per cent and Calderwood Central, 14 per cent.

The ward with the lowest number of affected children was Stewartfield East, with four per cent. However in neighboring Stewartfield West the figure rose to nine per cent.

In nearby Avondale, Strathaven South saw the highest number of families struggling with 14 per cent compared to three per cent in Strathaven North.

However even the region’s worst figures are far behind the nation’s poorest, with 69 per cent of Govanhill West – which falls under the Glasgow Southside seat of Nicola Sturgeon – below the breadline.

Sixty-one per cent – ​​107,507 – of children living in poverty last year in Scotland had at least one working parent.

Scottish Labor spokesman for social justice and security, Pam Duncan-Glancy, said: “What a damning indictment of the SNP’s record on child poverty this is. After 15 years in government, child poverty is still rising – even in the FM’s own constituency.”

Charities have warned child poverty is likely to worsen with the rise in food and energy costs taking effect, coupled with the £20 increase in Universal Credit being scrapped last October.

The Poverty Alliance, which represents 350 groups across Scotland, said the figures were a shameful injustice. Director Peter Kelly, added: “No child should have their life chances restricted and restrained simply because of where they were born.”

Imran Hussain, head of policy and campaigns at Action for Children, said: “Unless the Government chooses to shield them now by protecting benefits from rising inflation, it will fail on its manifesto pledge to cut child poverty and millions of families will continue to face years of miserable hardship.”

John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group, said: “It is worrying that many of the affected children have full-time working parents. This shows many jobs are failing to pay a living wage.”

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said the figures were partly due to the government only having “limited powers” to cause change.

They stated: “Tackling child poverty is our national mission and we are helping to lift thousands of children out of poverty in Scotland within our limited powers.”

He added its Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan “is backed by new investment of £113million on top of funding already allocated.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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