Scottish Labour candidate James Kelly has challenged Nicola Sturgeon over her recent pledge to end child poverty if returned as First Minister in May.
Following the First Minister's visit to Burnside last week, Kelly has written to Nicola Sturgeon to highlight an increase in deprivation across Rutherglen communities, and ask what she is doing to address this deprivation.
The SNP's 2011 Manifesto stated "the SNP is committed to ending child poverty in Scotland."
The most recent Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation data, published in 2020, showed a number of Rutherglen and Cambuslang communities within the top 5% of most deprived areas across the country.
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation data provides a relative measure of deprivation, based on various factors including income, Employment, Health and Housing.
James Kelly said "I am sure many people in communities across Rutherglen will be as frustrated as me to hear Nicola Sturgeon say she will end child poverty as part of her election pledges, having seen the situation in our own areas worsen throughout the SNP's 14 years of government.
“It is bad enough that areas that were already struggling over ten years ago are still in the same position today. But it is even more scandalous that people throughout Rutherglen and Cambuslang have found themselves becoming some of the most deprived in the country on this government’s watch.
“Areas of Rutherglen around our main street have moved into the top 5% of deprivation over the past ten years, and parts of Springhall, who were not in this position in 2016, now are.
“Communities such as Westburn and Halfway have similarly found themselves in a worse position than they were in the SNP's early years of government.
“Nicola Sturgeon is quite happy to make election time promises, and pay some flying visits to Rutherglen on her election tour, but what has she done to alleviate the struggles of the people in these communities?
“This government have had 3 parliamentary terms, and they have made child poverty levels in this country worse."