New statistics published a few weeks ago show that levels of poverty in Scotland have continued to rise in recent years, with anti-poverty campaigners calling for them to be used as a catalyst for increased action to solve poverty.
The figures, published by the Scottish Government, show that after housing costs, 19% of Scotland’s population - or 1 million people - were living in poverty in 2014 – 2017.
The Poverty Alliance has responded to the figures by calling for an increased focus on the solutions that can help unlock people from poverty. With the Scottish Government establishing a new social security system and soon to publish a Child Poverty Delivery Plan, The Poverty Alliance has emphasised the opportunities and levers that now exist in Scotland to implement the changes required to ensure that everyone in Scotland has a decent standard of living.
Reducing housing costs is, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, one of the ways of ensuring this change takes place, with the Poverty and Inequality Commission recently identifying it as one of the key mechanisms for making the biggest impact on poverty. Members of the Poverty Alliance involved in providing affordable housing and tackling homelessness have responded to the new figures, outlining the contribution they make to addressing poverty.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said:
“It cannot be right that 1 million people are now living in poverty in Scotland, and that ever more people are having their choices restricted, their opportunities limited, and their efforts to get by made even more difficult. Low pay, rising living costs, and unstable work mean that, for many, choices between whether to heat their home or pay their rent have become commonplace.
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