Scotland’s leading campaigner for child protection and welfare is backing a Yes vote on September 18 – as the best option for ending the scandal of child poverty.
Anne Houston, the newly-retired chief executive of Children 1st has been a driving force behind the development of child safety and welfare in Scotland over a distinguished 40 year career.
She said: “I am in no doubt that by taking control of our own decisions and meeting our own priorities with independence we have a much better chance of giving our children the protection and support they deserve.”
Ms Houston, who stepped down from the leading children’s charity in July after more than seven years at the helm, is not a member of any political party.
Her journey to Yes has been shaped by long personal experience in the frontline of child protection.
Explaining her decision to back Yes, she said: “There are already too many families in Scotland living in poverty. The current retrograde welfare reforms being driven from Westminster are hitting those in low paid employment or with disabilities.
“Vulnerable families and their children are being made more vulnerable. It is unacceptable that one in every five of Scotland’s children is living in poverty – a rising figure.
“For me the decision is about the difference independence would make to our control over the things that matter most to us. Many of our priorities are patently different from those driven by Westminster.
“I believe independence, with complete control over our budget – both income, and how we raise it and how we spend it – is the only way we will be sure that our priorities are our focus for action.”
She continued: “People often say children are our future and that is true, but they deserve more. We should value our children – and in a small country like this with our own choices we can do that better.
“This is about a positive vote for our future and is not about voting for any particular political party – that comes later.
“In an independent Scotland we can together identify the fundamental principles that will address what we care about and believe in – our aspirations for our country.
“That’s why I’ll be voting Yes on September 18.”
Yes Scotland Advisory Board member Tasmina Ahmed Sheikh: “We are delighted to have the support of Anne Houston, who has spent a lifetime working with children and families, both in the front line of care provision and in helping to develop policy.
“As a mum of four children myself, I know how incredibly important it is that our children are nurtured and protected. Independence will allow us to begin the work of lifting our youngsters out