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Emergency declared at cost of living summit

This news post is almost 2 years old

The meeting on Friday was attended by dozens of groups and focussed on the challenges facing workers.

A cost-of-living emergency has been declared at a crisis summit of trade unions, charities and community groups in Glasgow. 

The STUC and the Poverty Alliance, alongside trade union, civic and community groups from across Scotland have declared the nationwide cost of living emergency announcing key demands of the Scottish Government. 

The move follows a day of crisis talks with community leaders pledging to bring forward a formal declaration on the emergency.

Key demands include convening a national food summit following the Scottish Government’s decision to reject universal free school meals throughout primary and secondary schools this week.

Further demands include a national lobby of the Scottish Parliament on endemic low pay with recent statistics showing that real-term pay has fallen by 10 per cent since the start of the year. 

Other pledges include a national rent freeze and key reform of public transport, focusing on people over profit.

The summit also called for our social security system to be renewed in order to tackle poverty and low incomes.

STUC general secretary Roz Foyer said: “Our summit, representative of Scotland’s trade union and civic movement against this crisis, has declared a cost-of-living emergency. This is just the beginning. We’re building a nationwide movement that is seeking action on low pay, housing, transport and poverty.

“It’s no longer tolerable to wait on decisions from our political class. We’ve made it simple for them and our summit was clear. This is an emergency situation that requires an emergency response.

“Inaction is not an excuse. Whether something is devolved or reserved doesn’t matter to workers across Scotland; they just need decisive action from our political leaders which, until now, has been decisively lacking.

Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, added: "The only way we will get through this crisis is by showing solidarity and compassion.

"Today's conference was about putting those values into action. We look forward to building on today's demands to create a movement to tackle the injustice of poverty and low incomes in Scotland.”