Kids 'need anti-poverty champion'

SCOTLAND needs a movement to champion support in the early years to tackle inequalities in health and poverty, according to the former Chief Medical Officer.

Loading Comments
Share
Print

Sir Harry Burns, now Professor of Global Health at Strathclyde University, said all areas of government and society need to be aware of the damage done to children in their formative years.

He told the Scottish Parliament health and sport committee the more a child's early years are difficult, the more likely they will suffer social problems as adults.

Mr Burns, who has studied early intervention techniques around the world and seen the health and care service close up in Scotland, said suppor-ting parents was crucial in determining a child's future.

He said: "What we need is an over-arching structure to change the lives of people who struggle. We need to support people who just don't know how to look after their children. Extreme poverty changes the way a baby's brain develops."

Mr Burns gave evidence to the committee with Professor Michael Marmot of University College London, a globally recognised expert in health inequalities.

He also said parenting was the key and that it was a political decision to allow children to live in poverty.

He said: "Some countries are intolerable of child poverty."

Talking about recent government decisions, he said: "A choice has been made that the worse off should suffer more. The lower you are the greater the drop in income.

"That will damage our children. I analyse the data, I don't make political statements."

He added: "I heard the Prime Minister say over the floods 'money was no object'.

"Why wouldn't he say that about child poverty? Floods are terrible, but so is child poverty."

stewart.paterson@eveningtimes.co.uk

Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on Evening Times on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis. If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

163390

Have you got a story?

Contact the news desk on 0141 302 6520 or email news@eveningtimes.co.uk
Games news:

Putting the world to rights

Gail's Gab

Well done John Barrowman for redefining the Glasgow kiss at the opening ceremony.

Times Out

Entertainment

Lifestyle

TV Advert
Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat’s Eyes on Glasgow

Cat Cubie’s job is to find and share with you the fabulous things the city has to offer, from gigs to gastro.

Janice Bell

Janice Bell

You Couldn't Make This Up

Cold blooded approach to enjoy Saturday night fever

Michelle McManus

Michelle McManus

Columnist Michelle McManus is Sussed in the City, and loves to chat about anything and everything.