In Shetland, our levels of child poverty are relatively low – 5.7% of children in Shetland lived in low income families in 2015 compared to an average for Scotland of 16.5% – however, this figure has remained fairly static over the past decade while the Scottish average has fallen. We also know that we have a relatively high cost of living – the cost of living in Shetland is 20-60% higher than the UK average – meaning that many more of our children and young people may be in financial hardship than is indicated by the national figures. Our dispersed rural communities can often make it more difficult for parents to seek support, for their families.
Tackling Child Poverty In Shetland
Despite achievements we can rightly be proud of, we have a lot more to do, and are not complacent to the challenges we face; not least, we need to increase awareness across our organisations and others in the public, private and third sector of their role in tackling the drivers of child poverty. We need to ensure that all families can access the support they need to maximise their incomes and reduce their household costs – so they have more money available to them. We will also explore the role of employers, employability services, and how we can enable families to readily access leisure and recreation (including volunteering) activities.
Annual Child Poverty Action Reports
The purpose of the Annual Child Poverty Action Reports is to share, with a broad audience, what has been achieved and it also fulfils the duty placed on Local Authorities and NHS Boards to report annually on steps they are taking, and will take, to reduce child poverty.