People living on low incomes across Scotland have called for increased action to loosen the grip of poverty on their lives, in a new report published today by the Poverty Alliance.
Our Lives, Our Solutions – the annual report from the Poverty Alliance’s Get Heard Scotland initiative, which is funded by the Scottish Government as part of its Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan – has revealed the range of challenges being faced by people living in the grip of poverty across Scotland – including inadequate social security, digital exclusion, food insecurity, high energy costs and insecure work – as well as their ideas and proposals for action.
The report was based on the evidence generated by 37 community discussions that took place between August 2019 – December 2019 in Midlothian, Highlands, North Ayrshire, Edinburgh and Glasgow, with participants being asked to reflect on what’s working well in their community, what’s not working well, and what needs to change to better support people living on low incomes and unlock people from poverty.
The report is intended to inform local and national government’s anti-poverty policy-making. As part of this process community activists involved in the initiative held a meeting with Aileen Campbell MSP (Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government) on Tuesday 18th May to present some of the key findings, and discuss how these findings can inform the Scottish Government’s ongoing response to Covid-19, as well as it’s longer-term efforts to tackle child poverty.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance said:
“This report lays bare not only the many challenges faced by people living in the grip of poverty in Scotland, but also the many ways in which action can be taken to loosen that grip.
While these discussions took place prior to the unfolding of the Covid-19 crisis, the issues raised are the very ones that have come to the fore in the last few months; a social security system that doesn’t meet people’s needs, a labour market that fails to protect people from poverty, and an economy that entrenches inequality for women, BME groups and disabled people.
Get Heard Scotland has one simple aim; to ensure that the voices of people living on low incomes are heard by national and local government. It’s essential that now, more than ever, these voices are not just heard but acted on and that – in the weeks and months ahead – communities impacted by poverty have a meaningful say in how we reshape our economy and society.”
The report can be read in full here.