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Campaigner slams the “scourge” of poverty

This news post is almost 6 years old

Structural inequality and zero-hours contracts must end, Poverty and Inequality Commission is told

Prominent blogger and campaigner Jack Monroe savaged poverty and the political causes of it at the first annual public meeting of Scotland’s Poverty and Inequality Commission.

Jack joined other speakers to address an audience which included people with lived experience of poverty and inequality, frontline workers, campaigners, policy makers and members of the public.

The purpose of the event was to help the commission identify priorities for the next stage in its work and to hear from attendees about what will make the biggest difference to those who are locked in a daily struggle to make ends meet.

Along with a talk by Jack on household expenditure, the speakers were Elaine Downie and Jackie Stockdale from the Poverty Truth Commission who gave a presentation on household income and Torsten Bell, director of the Resolution Foundation who spoke about wealth inequalities.

Jack said: “Poverty continues to be a scourge on some of the most vulnerable in our society, and although Scotland are leading the charge against it with from-birth equality initiatives like baby boxes, there is still a lot of work to be done - firstly in treating the symptoms of poverty like homelessness, foodbank use, cold homes, poverty premiums and mental and physical health problems.

“And also by treating the cause; structural inequality, identifying postcode lottery areas and what investment in services is required, fair wages, ending tolerance for those who exploit zero hour or apprentice contracts, early years care and more.

“The Poverty and Inequality Commission is committed to listening to people who have experienced poverty in order to understand their needs and communicate them back to the government, and I look forward to working with them more in the future as we all work to eradicate poverty, together.”

Commission chairman Douglas Hamilton said: “This meeting has highlighted some of the biggest issues that people living with poverty and inequality live with every day.

“It is so important that the commission continues to consult people with first-hand experience and to learn from the different accounts; from the precarious nature of family finances and the difficulties people face when incomes are very low to the impact of low wages and zero hours contracts, which lock people into poverty.

“As a country we believe in compassion and justice. We can make changes so that our economy and our systems work for everyone, but there is still a lot of work to do. The commission will continue to work hard to suggest remedies and give best advice to The Scottish Government on how to loosen the grip of poverty in Scotland.”



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Rose Burn
almost 6 years ago
Of course the Scottish Governemnt can tackle poverty. First of all we need an education system which is rising not falling quickly in the international rankings. Secondly the government should raise more money from taxes - Middle and higher income taxes were only raised by 1p in the pound which raised just £200 million so clearly larger increases are needed.
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