A report has highlighted the fact that children are living in what has been decreed to be poverty . We can regularly watch our television screens and witness the emaciated bodies and the hollow, sunken eyes of babies and youngsters brought on by hellish hunger and stinking water in far-off places. Places where the death of a babe in arms is all too common. And, of course, it shouldn’t happen. Not in the so-called enlightened and modern world that is the 21st century.
But this report by the Child Poverty Group is not about far-away places. It about the UK. It is about Scotland. It is about the Borders. It is about our own towns and villages. Experts say 2,600 children are living in poverty in the UK parliamentary constituency of Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk, with 337 classed in the same category in Tweeddale.
Child poverty here is vastly different to that suffered in places far away. Our standards of living are higher and therefore the poverty is experienced at a different level.
Experts have calculated that the cost to society of child poverty in the Borders is around £32million. There’s been a call for politicians, the councils and charities to do more, including the establishment of community projects.
But the children didn’t make themselves poor. Adult wages here have always been despairingly low and now jobs are scarce. It’s jobs and better wages that are the answer.