This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.

The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Sector leads calls for new government to tackle poverty and champion "humane politics"


Charities want immediate action on key pledges

Campaigners from across the Scottish third sector are calling on the new UK Government to prioritise tackling poverty.

They want Kier Starmer to work with the Scottish Government in a bid to tackle the social ills that growing levels of deprivation have created.

Years of Conservative rule have led to cuts and damaging reforms, they warned, with foodbanks and emergency support now the norm for many families.

And all have called for the immediate scrapping of the two child limit on Universal Credit.

John Dickie, director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said it was vital that the new UK Government delivers on the manifesto promises of an ambitious child poverty strategy, a review of Universal Credit and an end to mass dependence on emergency food parcels.  

He added: “With the two-child limit driving 300,000 children into poverty across the UK, around 15 000 here in Scotland alone, the first priority must be to scrap it. This is the single most cost-effective way to reduce child poverty."

Peter Kelly, chief executive of the Poverty Alliance, said: “Going into this general election, anti-poverty campaigners were clear whoever formed the next government would need to set a new path for the country, one that would deliver freedom from poverty, as well as security and opportunity for everyone.

“An overwhelming mandate has been given to the Labour Party to forge such a path, and to put compassion and justice at the heart of all they do. 

“After more than a decade of cuts and damaging ‘reforms’, our social security system provides neither dignity nor security to those who need it. Any poverty strategy must address this by ending the unjust two-child limit, stopping the arbitrary benefit cap and increasing the value of support through an ‘Essentials Guarantee’.

“Changing our benefits system alone won’t end poverty on its own. We need to ensure that paid work provides a genuine route out of poverty. Fulfilling commitments to deliver fair work by improving pay and conditions will be a vital early task for the government."

Satwat Rehman, chief executive of One Parent Families Scotland, said the new government should now take this opportunity to treat single parents with dignity and respect.  

She said: “As sole carers and breadwinners for their families, single parents are unable to pool resources with another adult.

“This results in a much higher likelihood of poverty compared to other households. This government has an opportunity to make a real difference by creating policies that acknowledge and are built around the unique needs of single parents.

“Policies such as the two-child limit, the young parent penalty and the benefit cap penalise children in single parent families. This is why, along more than 200 other organisations across the UK, we are calling for an Essentials Guarantee in Universal Credit, a legal minimum level of Universal Credit to prevent families going without the basics, such as food and energy.”

Elsewhere there were calls for Westminster to champion a “more humane politics.”

David McNeil, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations' strategic director of development, said: “There is a pressing need for a more humane politics that puts people and communities first. The new government must move quickly to deliver just that.

“Everyday charities, community organisations and faith groups across Scotland deal with the consequences of decisions made at Westminster – on immigration, social security, employment law, the economy and more.

“Our sector holds a wealth of experience in addressing major societal issues. The knowledge we hold should be seen as an asset to policy and practice design from the outset. This is an opportunity that the new UK Government must grasp with both hands.

“It is welcome that, over the weekend, the new prime minister and first minister of Scotland met to commit to improving the relationship between the Scottish and UK governments.

“It is our hope that this reset in relations will benefit voluntary organisations across Scotland, and the communities and people that they serve.”



Be the first to comment