Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. MSPs take evidence from the Equality and Human Rights Commission and MECOPP on Gypsy/Travellers
  2. Nicola Sturgeon is quizzed by opposition leaders during first minister's questions
  3. Tory MSP Maurice Corry leads a debate entitled 'Combat Stress Finds Veterans in Scotland Face Higher Levels of Deprivation Than Those in Rest of UK'
  4. MSPs debate the Child Poverty Bill at stage 1

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from Holyrood Live

Holyrood
Getty Images

That ends our coverage of the Scottish Parliament for Thursday 1 June 2017.

We'll be back next Tuesday.

Until then, have a good weekend.

MSPs unanimously agree to the general principles of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill

MSPs unanimously agree to the general principles of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill.

Decision time...

We now move to decision time where MSPs will vote on the general principles of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill.

The minister says her plans are for a poverty and inequality commission

Communities and Social Security Secretary Angela Constance
bbc
Communities and Social Security Secretary Angela Constance

Communities and Social Security Secretary Angela Constance says having targets and reporting back to the parliament will help address child poverty.

Ms Constance stresses what can actually be done as opposed to the problems of that can't be addressed.

The minister says while child poverty is at scandalous levels it used to be at similar levels to the UK and now it is lower in Scotland than any other nation.

She says that is the difference the Scottish Parliament has made.

The minister says her plans are for a poverty and inequality commission and she says she is not currently persuaded by the case for a statutory commission.

She says topping up child benefit is not bad idea, but it is not the best idea.

Poverty crushes individuals and communities says Angela Constance

Social Security Secretary Angela Constance says poverty crushes individuals and communities.

The social security secretary says no target is perfect and that it is action that is important.

She says that requiring the government to report annually leads to more scrutiny and ultimately better action.

Ms Constance says the Scottish government is fighting poverty with one arm tied behind its back.

Tory MSP says child poverty strategy is not going to work if it focuses only on income

Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins
bbc
Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins

Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins asks what is the cause of poverty and what are the by-products.

The Tory MSP says it seems to be the government's view that only income can be thought about in tackling poverty, at least in this Bill.

He says an effective child poverty strategy is not going to work if it focuses only on income.

SNP MSP Alex Neil says a decent basic income is the prerequisite for challenging child poverty.

Mr Tomkins says their difference on this is tiny then.

He says his party amend the bill to include targets on the attainment gap and reducing the number of children growing up in workless households.

'We've got to move beyond simply targets'

Labour MSP Alex Rowley
BBC

Labour MSP Alex Rowley says he hopes the debate will be widened during the stage 2 and 3 debate.

Mr Rowley says there is a need to redistribute power and wealth in this country and that the Labour manifesto contains ways to do this.

The Labour MSP says "we've got to move beyond simply targets" and that action speaks louder than words.

He says 70% of children in poverty in Scotland are in families where at least one person is in work.

Mr Rowley says a coherent anti-poverty strategy for Scotland is required.

He says "we need an independent commission to ensure scrutiny."

SNP MSP says the two child tax credit cap will exacerbate child poverty

SNP MSP Clare Adamson
bbc
SNP MSP Clare Adamson

SNP MSP Clare Adamson commends the work of the Social Security Committee and on being able to find consensus over child poverty.

Ms Adamson says there is an absolute gulf between the Tory party and everyone else on the symptoms and the causes of child poverty.

She says the two child tax credit cap will exacerbate child poverty, along with the "horrible rape clause".

Tory MSP gives moving personal account of his own childhood in poverty

Tory MSP Jamie Greene
BBC

Tory MSP Jamie Greene gives a moving personal account of his own childhood in poverty, during which he often went to school hungry, his school uniform was never new and there was addiction and domestic violence problems in his home.

Mr Greene says he accepts that there are children in poverty whose parents are working and points out that his own mother worked as much as she could.

He says he has no interest in opposing for opposing's sake at any stage of this Bill nor does he think there is any "magic wand" to fix this problem.

'I believe this Bill is a step in the right direction'

SNP MSP George Adam
bbc
SNP MSP George Adam

SNP MSP George Adam says the Bill is something he is very passionate about as he wants nothing more than to see children flourish and thrive and achieve their dreams.

Mr Adam says: "We must ensure that every single child in Scotland is protected and given every opportunity to succeed."

He says: "I believe this Bill is a step in the right direction."

Statutory duty is required to eradicate child poverty says Labour MSP

Labour MSP Elaine Smith
BBC

Labour MSP Elaine Smith says a statutory duty is required to eradicate child poverty.

Ms Smith highlights a child named Kirsty, living in her constituency, in poverty. She says, for the first five years of Kirsty's life, she has shared a room with her parents in a private flat with no outside space

The Labour MSP says, in that time, no council house has been offered to her family and both her parents have to work because they cannot afford child care.

She says Kirsty does well at school but questions how long that can be sustained.

SNP MSP welcomes commitment to bring amendments to introduce interim targets

SNP MSP Ben Macpherson
bbc
SNP MSP Ben Macpherson

SNP MSP Ben Macpherson says under UK government welfare reform the UK level of child poverty will rise to five million.

Mr Macpherson says he very much welcomes the Child Poverty Bill as it will focus the mind and reinstate targets, after the UK government regrettably repealed parts of the Child Poverty Act 2010.

He says also welcomes the cabinet secretary's commitment to bring amendments at Stage 2 to introduce interim targets.

Tackling child poverty is not and easy task for any government says Tory MSP

Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst
BBC

Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst says tackling child poverty is not and easy task for any government.

Mr Lindhurst says the Child Poverty Bill indicates how difficult it is to arrive at a suitable conclusion.

SNP MSP Ash Denham says a number of Tory MSPs have used the phrase "root cause" and that the "root cause is the Tory party". "Will you answer that," she asks.

Mr Lindhurst says "no, not at the moment because I thought you were asking a question".

The Tory MSP says narrowing and eventually closing the attainment gap could help with poverty.

'Having no money and sending your bairns to bed with no food is poverty'

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire
BBC

SNP MSP Ruth Maguire says only by increasing the income of families in poverty can real improvements be made.

Ms Maguire says income, or the lack of it, is at the root of this issue.

The SNP MSP says "having no money and sending your bairns to bed with no food is poverty."

She says any interim targets must be achievable.

"We're here because the UK government took the disgraceful decision to repeal the Child Poverty Act," she says.

Lib Dem MSP says more detail should be on the face of the Bill

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott
bbc
Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott says this is an area of "vitally important public policy".

Mr Scott says it cannot be good enough there are so many young Scots are in poverty.

He says he agrees more detail should be on the face of the bill, including educational attainment, sports participation and fuel poverty targets.

Mr Scott says there is a commonality of view in the briefings today that an independent commission be put in place.

The Greens warmly welcome the reinstating of the child poverty targets

Green MSP Alison Johnstone says the latest statistics on child poverty showed a 4% rise in relative child poverty.

This is an increase of 40,000 children taking the total to 260,000 children she says.

Ms Johnstone says the UK government focus on work being the way out of poverty is simply not true, with 70% of children living in poverty living in a household with one working adult.

Green MSP Alison Johnstone
bbc
Green MSP Alison Johnstone

The Green MSP says her party warmly welcome the reinstating of the child poverty targets in this Bill, which were removed by the UK government.

Ms Johnstone says her party back the general principles of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill.

She too calls for an extra £5 on child benefit every week.

Background: Children 1st

Children 1st website
Children 1st

From the Children 1st website:

"Children 1st is Scotland’s National Children’s Charity. Some children have little to smile about. We’re determined to give them reasons to.

"We help Scotland’s families to put children first, with practical advice and with support in difficult times. And when the worst happens, we support survivors of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic events in childhood, to recover.

"We began in 1884 and for many years were known as the RSSPCC (Royal Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children).

"We became Children 1st in 1995. We did this to say that children are at the heart of everything we do. And that not only do we want to prevent harm - we also want to ensure every child gets the love and nurture they deserve.

"We help Scotland’s families to put children first, with practical advice and with support in difficult times. And when the worst happens, we support survivors of abuse, neglect, and other traumatic events in childhood, to recover.

Labour MSP calls for child benefit to be raised by £5 a week

Labour MSP Richard Leonard says absolute child poverty is up from 21% to 24% in 12 months.

Over a quarter of a million children are living in poverty in Scotland today, with 70% in working households he says.

Mr Leonard says to the Tory benches these are not lifestyle choices but economic impositions.

Labour MSP Richard Leonard
bbc
Labour MSP Richard Leonard

He says children through a chance of birth are born into poverty.

Mr Leonard says the Child Poverty Bill is a start to tackling this.

The Labour MSP calls for child benefit to be raised by £5 a week, which he says would lift 30,000 children out of poverty in Scotland at a a stroke.

Background: Barnardo's Scotland

Barnardo's Scotland
Barnardo's Scotland
Barnardo's Scotland

From the Barnardo's Scotland website

"Barnardo’s Scotland provides more than 130 community-based services throughout the country working with over 26,500 vulnerable children, young people and their families.

"Barnardo’s Scotland engages with external organisations to bring about positive change for children, young people and families within Scotland."

The most important focus must be the causes of poverty rather than just the symptoms says Tory MSP

Tory MSP Liz Smith
BBC

Tory MSP Liz Smith says there is no government anywhere would argue that there is an easy path to address policy.

Ms Smith says these policies are crucial when it comes to supporting disadvantaged communities.

The Tory MSP says the most important focus must be the causes of poverty rather than just the symptoms.

Ms Smith says you are not just going to get out of poverty by lifting the income levels and that it is the causes of poverty that have to be dealt with.

She says you have to focus the delivery of the early years services on the disadvantaged one and two-year-olds.

Background: The Poverty Alliance

The Poverty Alliance website
The Poverty Alliance

From the Poverty Alliance website:

"Our vision is of a sustainable Scotland based on social and economic justice, with dignity for all, where poverty and inequalities are not tolerated and are challenged.

"The Poverty Alliance was formally established in 1992, growing out of an informal network of groups and individuals active since the mid 1980s.

"We are a membership organisation with a range of varied experience in addressing issues related to poverty and social exclusion.

"Our membership is made up of a wide range of organisations including grassroots community groups, individuals facing poverty, voluntary organisations, statutory organisations, policy makers and academics.

"We now act as the national anti-poverty network in Scotland, working with voluntary organisations, policy makers and politicians at Scottish, UK and European levels."

'We cannot afford not to deal with child poverty and poverty in our society'

SNP MSP Alex Neil
bbc
SNP MSP Alex Neil

SNP MSP Alex Neil says: "We cannot afford not to deal with child poverty and poverty in our society."

Mr Neil says the most effective measure to reduce health inequalities is by making the real living wage mandatory for everyone in Scotland.

He says child poverty must be tackled if the attainment gap is to be closed.

The former health secretary says he fundamentally disagrees with Mr Tomkins as he thinks tackling poverty is about putting cash in the pockets of the poor.

He says there must be a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy, with tackling child poverty at its core.

Background: One Parent Families Scotland

One Parent Families Scotland
One Parent Families Scotland
One Parent Families Scotland

From the One Parent Families Scotland website:

"Established in 1944, One Parent Families Scotland is a national organisation which works with and on behalf of one parent families throughout Scotland.

"We are the only national organisation whose overall aim and purpose is to improve the lives of single parents and their families, enabling them to benefit from life’s opportunities, and fulfil their potential.

"We support one parent families at grass-roots level through a range of practical services; we provide training and advice to agencies and professionals; we campaign vociferously at national level in the interests of our client group."

Scottish Labour fully supports the principles of the Bill

Labour MSP
BBC

Ms McNeill says that income maximisation in the Child poverty Bill and the forthcoming Social Security Bill may be appropriate.

The Labour MSP says she fully supports the principles of the Bill

Background: CPAG in Scotland

CPAG in Scotland
CPAG in Scotland
CPAG in Scotland

From the CPAG in Scotland website:

"CPAG in Scotland was established in 1999 and works to raise awareness of the devastating impact poverty has on children in Scotland, maximise families’ incomes by helping to ensure those eligible for benefits and tax credits receive their full entitlements and campaign for positive policy changes to end that poverty.

"We do this through providing advice, information and training on benefits and tax credits to organisations in Scotland; as well promoting solutions and working to bring about real improvements in the policies that impact on the lives of low income families through our campaign and policy work."

Labour MSP says 70% of children in poverty are in working families

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill calls for child benefit to be topped up by £5 per week and cites testimony from the Child Poverty Action Group Scotland on what a difference this could make.

Ms McNeill says Oxfam says wealth inequality has risen in recent years.

She says 70% of children in poverty are in working families.

The Labour MSP calls for a £10 living wage.

Labour MSP welcomes interim targets but says they should be on the face of the Bill

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill
BBC

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill says the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill currently lacks the ambition that is needed but says her party are fully behind a targets framework.

Ms McNeill says she welcomes the interim targets but that this should be on the face of the Bill.

The Labour MSP says she agrees with Adam Tomkins that independent scrutiny of the government's work is essential.

She says it is the redistribution of income which will make the biggest difference and fundamentally it is a lack of income that makes someone live in poverty.

Reality Check: Are a quarter of Scottish children in poverty? The figures suggest yes

Jeremy Corbyn
Reuters/BBC

The claim: 260,000 children in Scotland are living in poverty, 40,000 up on last year.

Reality Check verdict: The best available figures suggest he is right to say there has been a jump in child poverty in Scotland to 260,000 after several years of little change.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the Scottish Trades Union Congressin Aviemore on Monday.

He highlighted the increase in relative child poverty in Scotland, saying that 260,000 children are living in relative poverty, which is up 40,000 on last year.

The figures come from a Scottish Government publication, which calculates relative poverty as living in households with incomes below 60% of the median income for the UK, after housing costs have been paid.

The median income is the one for which half of UK households have a higher income and half have a lower one.

The most recent figure is for the financial year 2015-16, and suggests that 260,000 children were living in relative poverty after housing costs, which is 26% of children in Scotland. That's up from 220,000 or 22% in 2014-15.

The Tories swill seek to amend the Child Poverty Bill

Mr Tomkins
bbc

Mr Tomkins says the independence of oversight and scrutiny is clear.

The Tory MSPs says Scottish ministers plans are not a recipe for independent scrutiny.

He says his party will seek to amend the bill to strengthen it.

Tories intend to introduce amendment at stage 2 on attainment

Mr Tomkins says educational under-attainment is one of the drivers of poverty and the first minister claims that it is one of her priorities. He says the opportunity has been missed to reflect this in the Bill.

The Tory MSP says his party will be introducing an amendment at stage two which makes it a legal obligation for ministers to reduce the attainment gap.