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Poverty Alliance Welcomes New Poverty and Inequality Commission

Posted: 03/07/2017

Poverty Alliance Welcomes New Poverty and Inequality Commission
Further to the Scottish Government's announcemet of a Poverty and Inequality Commission, please find below the Poverty Alliance's statement on it.
 
For Immediate Release:
 
Commenting on the Scottish Government's announcement of the establishment of a new Poverty and Inequality Commission, Peter Kelly director of the Poverty Alliance said:
 
"With the latest figures on poverty and inequality showing significant increases, there is an urgent need for more concerted action. In this context we welcome today's announcement that a new Poverty and Inequality Commission will be created. 
 
"Our experience is that a strong external, independent driver for anti-poverty policy can make a real difference. The Commission should be a body that can hold the Scottish Government to account on its commitments to tackling poverty. 
 
"This Commission needs to be a strong voice for the more than one million people in Scotland currently living in poverty. We particularly welcome the inclusion of people with experience of poverty in the Commission as we know that their voices are critical to making progress.
 
"We believe there is a need for an independent body to perform some of the roles previously fulfilled by the Child Poverty and Social Mobility Commission at UK level. 
"Under the Child Poverty Act 2010, the Child Poverty and Social Mobility Commission was charged with, amongst other things, a duty to publish an annual report setting out its views on the progress made towards the income targets. The Poverty and Inequality Commission's role should, of course, be wider to consider the changes that can be made to reduce Scotland's yawning gap between rich and poor.
"The performance of these functions, by a body whose role and independence are established and protected in statute, will be important in ensuring that there is an expert source of independent scrutiny and oversight. The body's legislative underpinning would ensure that it could speak freely and be critical of the government where necessary.
 
"We look forward to working with the new Commission to ensure that we make real progress in driving down poverty in Scotland."
 
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