Test for First Minister is in the difference changes make to people’s lives

Reacting to today’s statement by the First Minister, Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “We welcome the Scottish Government’s focus on three missions around equality, opportunity and community. However, the test for the First Minister will be delivery of these ambitions and the difference that is made in people’s lives.

“In that context the anti-poverty summit announced by the First Minister today represents a chance to build a Scotland based on justice and compassion, where people are freed from the grip of poverty. It’s good that all parties in the Parliament will be invited – because this isn’t about party politics, it’s about allowing people to live in dignity and security.

“We look forward to the consultations on progressive taxation. The Scottish Government must use all of their powers over taxation to raise the revenue for increased public investment in our social security system, and the public services that we all rely on, but which are a lifeline for people on the lowest incomes.

“This consultation has to go beyond the Scottish Parliament’s powers over income tax, to look at urgent reform of the council tax, the introduction of wealth taxes, and business rates.

“The continued commitment to fair work and the wellbeing economy is essential, ensuring that more people have access to good quality work that pays the real Living Wage. A job has to give people the foundation they need to build a life free from poverty. At the moment, more than two thirds of children in poverty live in working households.

“We also welcome the First Minister’s continued commitment to improving access to affordable and flexible childcare. This is critical to reducing the cost of living for parents, and enabling women into good quality employment that allows them to escape poverty.”

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