Tackling poverty needs investment in local services

Reacting to today’s statement from Finance Secretary Kate Forbes, Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance said: “People in Scotland believe that government has a moral obligation to help make sure everyone has enough to live a dignified life, and that no-one lives with the injustice of poverty. That’s even more true during a time of crisis.


“It was good to see that the Scottish Government has highlighted resources for tackling child poverty and supporting people on low incomes. We need to see that matched with investment in the actions that we need to challenge poverty and meet our child poverty targets.


“A lot of those actions are at least partly the responsibility of local councils – things like investing in childcare that’s free at the point of need, in free public transport, in good public services, in social housing, and in our social security system. Without proper support for local councils, there is a danger that these actions might not happen – which will have direct consequences for households on the lowest incomes.


“We need to fund the investment we need to meet our poverty targets. The Scottish Budget mostly comes from Westminster, but we also have powers over income tax and local taxation. We hope to hear more detail from the Finance Secretary about how she will use those powers to fund investment in anti-poverty measures.


“We can’t afford not to meet the challenge of the cost-of-living crisis – its effects could be felt for generations to come, unless we take action now. We need every level of government to help turn the tide of rising poverty, and save people from a lifetime of struggling to keep their heads above water.”

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