Chapter 3 of the ONS review of the long run rates of relative poverty in UK households since 1961 shows that rate of poverty in 1961 was 13%. This rose sharply in the 1980s and 90s to peaks of 25%. After 1997 the poverty rates declined gently to 22% where it is now. The rise in poverty was caused by Thatcherism and coincided with Scotland’s health inequalities also rising sharply.
The ONS statistics are here p15 House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Number 7096.
Child poverty was and is caused by policies of the UK government.
The effects of Thatcherism on rising income inequality, poverty and health inequalities can be found here
“The rises in cause-specific mortalities such as alcohol- and drug-related deaths, suicide and violence, and the widening health inequalities, occurred during the same time period in which unemployment, poverty and income inequality all rose. The antecedents of these types of cause-specific mortality, and of health inequalities, are well-explored in the literature; reviews of this evidence highlight the importance of social and economic determinants of health (79). Given what we know about the impact of Thatcher’s neoliberal reforms on the social and economic landscape of Britain, it seems clear that Thatcher’s legacy includes the unnecessary and unjust premature death of many British citizens, together with a substantial and continuing
burden of suffering and loss of well-being.”
The Scottish government has limited powers to tackle child poverty. It controls welfare spending amounting to about 15% and has little control over the economy. Control of these powers are needed to tackle inequalities of all kinds, particularly income and health inequalities