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Assembly co-ordinates war on poverty

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​Sixth annual assembly charts a course in the fight against poverty

Campaigners are gathering to discuss the next steps in the war against poverty in Scotland.

They have come together in Glasgow to help co-ordinate the fight against deprivation, to share experiences and frame tactics.

The event, which takes place in the Royal Concert Halls today (Friday), will be the sixth annual Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty and will mark the end of this year’s Challenge Poverty Week.

Represented will be people with direct experience of poverty, activists, representatives of community and voluntary organsiations, trade unions, faith groups, researchers, policy makers and politicians.

Now is the time to think about how we can achieve a fairer Scotland

The assemblies have become a become a key forum for discussion around the problems of poverty in Scotland and how they could be more effectively addressed.

This year's event, sponsored by the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland, will again provide an opportunity to discuss, debate and prioritise the actions needed to make a bigger impact on poverty in Scotland.

A key focus will be feeding into the development of the Scottish Government's Social Justice Action Plan, due to be published in early 2016.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, which is hosting the assembly, said: “We are delighted to once again bring people from all over Scotland together to think about the type of Scotland we want to live in and how we achieve that.

“By the end of the day we hope to have a firm list of key priorities for the next five years.

“With new powers for the Scottish Parliament on the way, now is the time to think about how we use these to achieve a fairer Scotland”.

Social justice secretary Alex Neil said: “The Scottish Assembly for Tackling Poverty is an important opportunity to highlight and discuss how we can address the unacceptable levels of poverty in Scotland.

“We need to close inequality gaps which is why through our Fairer Scotland discussions we have been asking people with direct experience of poverty and exclusion to put forward their views on creating a fairer and more equal Scotland.

“These conversations will feed into our forthcoming Social Justice Action Plan and help inform how we deliver our social security powers, ensuring that our approach is based on fairness and that people are treated with dignity and respect.”