Child poverty in Scotland is a blight which affects almost every aspect of life

John Swinney is the new leader of the SNP
John Swinney is the new leader of the SNP -Credit:Getty Images

The most heartening part of new SNP leader John Swinney’s speech was his focus on child poverty.

He described it as a “curse” and said his priority was to eradicate this type of poverty.

The Daily Record agrees with Swinney and we wish him every success in this area.

Child poverty is a blight which affects almost every aspect of life, from educational achievement to health.

It impacts on whether a child goes to university, limits employment prospects and curtails life expectancy.

The fact we have over 240,000 kids in poverty is a national scandal and a failure of both Governments.

But it must also be pointed out that Humza Yousaf outlined the same priority when he became first minister.

He said this was his mission but he ended up proposing a budget that was slammed by anti-poverty groups.

They were appalled at his government’s support for a council tax freeze and deep cuts to the affordable housing budget.

Swinney must heed this criticism and ensure a greater focus is brought to the government he leads on this issue.

He also does not have to reinvent the wheel. Increasing the Scottish Child Payment is a successful policy, as is expanding free childcare for families.

He should also drill down into the causes of poverty, such as poor education and addiction.

If Swinney makes tackling child poverty his national mission then the opposition parties should
support him.

This problem is too important for political games and parties should work together on this common cause.

Have safe Euros

About 100,000 Tartan Army foot soldiers are expected to head to Germany for Euro 2024.

The festival of football will see the greatest mobilisation ever of Scottish fans who’ll be determined to make up for lost time.

Not since France 98 when we opened the World Cup will so many Scots head to the continent en masse.

It is welcome that the German authories are taking action to make sure the torunament host cities are as safe as possible.

Hundreds of police officers took part in dozen of raids at clubs and pubs across the country to clamp down on criminal activity.

In a few weeks’ time, Scots and supporters from other nations will be spending handsomely in some of
those establishments.

It is important they can do so safe in the knowledge that all they have to worry about is having a good time.

To sign up to the Daily Record Politics newsletter, click here