Campaigners meeting the First Minister today will have an opportunity to hear how their experiences of low incomes are helping to shape the Scottish Government’s response to poverty.
Humza Yousaf will be meeting the Poverty Alliance and activists with experience of low incomes who were invited to take part in the First Minister’s anti-poverty summit in May. The meeting comes as hundreds of organisations across Scotland are taking part in this year’s Challenge Poverty Week.
Since the summit, the First Minister has published his Programme for Government. Today’s meeting is an opportunity for people with experience of in poverty to ask questions directly of the FM and learn more about the Scottish Government’s approach to tackling poverty in Scotland.
The First Minister said: “Following valuable discussions at my Anti-Poverty Summit it May, I am grateful to campaigners for taking the time to meet me again. We know that we can only tackle poverty effectively through partnership and collaboration, so these discussions are vital.
“Our collective action is making a difference – it is estimated that 90,000 fewer children will live in poverty this year as a result of this Government’s policies, and my Programme for Government sets out how we will go further. However, in the most challenging financial situations, and with UK Government decisions actively undermining our efforts, I share the frustration of those demanding more.
“I am determined to work with our partners to explore what more is possible and look forward to hearing the contributions from the meeting.”
Poverty Alliance director Peter Kelly said: “When he was elected, the First Minister said tackling poverty was to be his defining mission. At the anti-poverty summit in May, the First Minister heard directly from people with experience of low incomes about the change they wanted to see in their communities. We welcome that the Scottish Government have placed emphasis on lived experience in their policymaking because this, ultimately, leads to better and stronger solutions to poverty.
This meeting during Challenge Poverty Week is an opportunity for the First Minister to be accountable to people experiencing poverty, highlighting how the expertise they shared at the summit has been embedded in the Scottish Government’s approach to tackling poverty. And ultimately, that accountability must lead to action.”
One of the people meeting with Humza Yousaf today is Danielle Ramage, who was invited to the first anti-poverty summit, and who works with Broke not Broken, an anti-poverty charity helping people in Kinross-shire,
Danielle Ramage said: “When I attended the First Minister’s anti-poverty summit, I asked him to be as brave as the people who have to live in unjust poverty every day of their lives.
“We know what action is needed to tackle poverty, and Challenge Poverty Week is an opportunity to collectively raise our voices to call for that action. I look forward to hearing from the First Minister today about how he will be accelerating the changes that we so desperately need to see in Scotland to unlock everyone from the grip of poverty.”