The Scottish Government, led by Humza Yousaf, has introduced new measures to combat poverty in the country. As part of an “anti-poverty” agenda, free childcare for two-year-olds will be provided. This initiative follows the successful implementation of free childcare for three and four-year-olds, which is proven to reduce poverty rates and stimulate economic growth.
Yousaf also announced that 20,000 mothers and children will receive additional financial support for milk and healthy food. In an effort to improve the salaries of social care and childcare workers, they will be paid £12 an hour starting from April. These measures aim to address the issue of poverty and create a more supportive environment for families in Scotland.
The phased extension of free childcare for two-year-olds will prioritize those who are most in need, ensuring that vulnerable families receive the necessary assistance. Yousaf also emphasized the importance of giving parents greater flexibility in accessing childcare services.
In addition, the existing anti-poverty scheme, known as the Best Start Foods program, will be expanded. By removing income thresholds, an additional 20,000 pregnant mothers and children will benefit from financial support for milk and healthy food. This move highlights the government’s commitment to providing the best possible start for all children.
Furthermore, Yousaf addressed the issue of low wages in the social care sector. Pay for social care workers in direct care roles will be increased to a minimum of £12 an hour. Full-time workers may see a pay increase of up to £2,000 per year, which amounts to a raise of over 10%. This measure aims to value social care staff, support their families, and improve recruitment and retention rates in the sector.
The Scottish Government’s proactive approach towards reducing poverty demonstrates their commitment to utilizing all available resources to address this pressing issue. Through the implementation of progressive tax and spending policies, the government aims to ensure that those who earn more contribute proportionately. By prioritizing childcare, cash support for families, and fair wages, the government aims to create a more inclusive and prosperous society.