‘Shocking’ figures for child poverty

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HAWICK and the surrounding areas have been highlighted as one of the worst in the Borders for child poverty.

FIGURES released this week as part of the Child Poverty Map for Scotland 2013 show that hundreds of children in and around the town are living in poverty.

A total of 685 children in the two Hawick council seats are below the poverty line, which equates to 25 per cent of all children in Hawick and Denholm (501), and 13 per cent of all children in Hawick and Hermitage (184).

The Borders figure is estimated to be 2,937, while the constituency of Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk is 2,600.

Hawick MSP John Lamont has condemned the figures and demanded urgent action be taken to tackle the issue.

He said: “To have a quarter of children in the Hawick and Denholm area living below the poverty line is quite clearly unacceptable, and makes it one of the worst wards in Scotland when it comes to this problem.

“A lot of work needs to be done to reduce poverty levels not only in Hawick but across the Borders, and it’s vital that the Scottish Government does more to tackle it.

“By working with local stakeholders and raising awareness in the Hawick area, we can identify and help those who are in need of help and work to see these figures reduce.”

Speaking on behalf of End Child Poverty in Scotland, John Dickie, described the figures as “shocking”.