Challenge Poverty Week 2023 – Introducing our key policy asks

It is completely unjust that people are experiencing poverty in a wealthy country like Scotland. Too many people, including 250,000 children, are having their life chances restricted by the injustice of preventable poverty.

Covid-19 and the ongoing cost of living crisis have contributed to a rising tide of poverty as people struggle to access adequate incomes that would enable them to live a dignified life. The inadequacies of our social security system and structural issues in our labour market have been further illuminated by these dual crises. It’s never been more important to raise our collective voices against poverty. 

Since 2013, Challenge Poverty Week has been a point in the year where organisations across the whole of Scotland, representing different sectors and parts of society, come together to raise their voices collectively to highlight the injustice of poverty in Scotland. The week represents an opportunity to showcase work that has been done throughout the year to tackle poverty, both locally and nationally, while also calling for system change to address the root causes of poverty.

Over 400 organisations took part last year, including grassroots community groups; faith groups; elected members; large National NGOs; and a range of voluntary organisations. This year, Challenge Poverty Week will take place between Monday 2nd October to Sunday 8th October.  

Challenge Poverty Week 2023: Our policy asks  

Every year, Challenge Poverty Week places emphasis on a number of key policy asks that will help us to free people from the grip of poverty. These policies are designed to turn our shared values of justice and compassion into action, and to highlight to our politicians what changes are required to build a Scotland free from poverty.  

This year, our policy asks were developed in collaboration with a short life working group with representation from public bodies, the private sector, and a variety of third sector organisations. We are calling for substantive action to ensure Scotland is a place where: we support our communities and volunteers; we have safe, secure and sustainable homes; we all have enough to live a decent and dignified life; we can all get where we need to go; and no one goes hungry.

Our specific policy asks include:

You can find out more about our policy asks in this briefing, and you can access the more detailed position papers on our website and using the links above. 

Putting action to tackle poverty at the heart of the Programme for the Government  

The Poverty Alliance has welcomed the development of key strategies designed to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland alongside the introduction of statutory child poverty targets. While this leadership on the issue is extremely important, it has not yet facilitated a meaningful reduction in poverty rates in Scotland.  

The latest scrutiny report from the Poverty and Inequality Commission concluded that, without urgent and concentrated action, the Scottish Government will miss the 2030 child poverty targets.

Scotland’s First Minister has stated that the defining mission of his leadership should be to reduce, if not eradicate, the injustice of poverty. This commitment, and emphasis, must also be embedded into the forthcoming Programme for Government with tangible actions and clear timescales for implementation.

We believe that the policy asks developed ahead of Challenge Poverty Week 2023 offer a strong platform for tackling the injustice of poverty. Working together to realise these policy asks will help to ensure that poverty is a thing of the past. We urge the Scottish Government to embed these actions into their refreshed policy prospectus, due for publication in September. 

We know that a Scotland free from poverty is possible, and we hope you will join us to raise your voice against poverty. It’s time to build a fairer, greener Scotland where everyone in Scotland has access to an adequate income that allows for a dignified and decent life. 

 Find out more about Challenge Poverty Week, and how you can get involved, here. 





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