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Young people say governments should do more to fight poverty

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​New research shows young Scots want more done to fight poverty

Young people believe governments don’t do enough to tackle poverty, new research shows.

A study by the Scottish Youth Parliament (SYP) revealed that seven out of 10 young people want more cash to be invested in anti-poverty measures.

Some 68% said governments did not spend enough money tackling poverty while just 11% said enough was spent with 21% saying they did not know.

Young people said they thought poverty was a big factor in society, blighting communities, and they were worried about the impact benefit sanctions had as well as zero hours contracts, low pay and stigma faced by people around poverty.

Young people don’t see the evidence of the government attempting to solve this problem

Increasing the minimum wage, improving schools in deprived areas, helping more people into vocational training and requiring employers to pay the living wage were all positive steps to alleviate poverty the government could take, the respondents said.

In total SYP surveyed 910 young people across Scotland.

The study, which is part of a year-long SYP campaign, comes as part of Challenge Poverty Week which is run until Friday, 23 October.

Jordan Linden, chair of the SYP, said poverty was a major factor in young people’s lives.

“Young people don’t see the evidence of the government attempting to solve this problem,” he said.

“Those growing up in poverty are being robbed of a childhood, and not enough resources are being made available to help young people break the cycle of poverty within their families and communities. “

Linden added: “Poverty is an issue that transcends party politics, and goes right to the core of who we are as a nation and as people. We must hold elected leaders accountable to their promise to tackle child poverty."

Equally important is to heed the voices of young people when solving an issue that directly affects them.

“We will be working to make sure that our leaders and decision makers use this report when considering the measures that need to be taken.”

The research is being distributed to MSPs, political leaders, and third sector organisations.