Many civil society organisations in Scotland have discussed emergency responses to the cost of living crisis and explored common priorities to increasing hardship this winter.
UK Government recent interventions in energy costs and cost of living are not sufficient to protect people from poverty this winter, especially those already struggling to make ends meet.
While a compassionate response to an emergency situation may include dignified and attractive warm places hosted within communities these cannot meet our aspirations to protect and respect our human rights and to ensure that people are treated with dignity at all times.
It is important to ensure that we do not repeat past mistakes where community responses to income crises become hardwired into the state’s response to poverty.
The focus and responsibility of government should be ensuring people have enough money to keep their own homes warm. A cash first approach is the best way to do this, by investing in the benefits system.
Our focus should include longer term issues, climate justice and distribution of wealth and power in our society.
There remains a need for sustainable funding to organisations that support people through a perfect storm of rising costs, rocketing demand on services and people, all with reduced donations and funding.