Now Is The Time to Challenge Poverty in Scotland

This Challenge Poverty Week MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, Claire Baker, is calling for continued action to boost incomes, reduce the cost of living and ensure people are not restricted from playing a full role in society as a result of poverty.

Following a visit to The Gate Charity in Alloa to find out more about its new look Food Larder and work tackling food insecurity, Claire Baker has highlighted the impact of the scrapping of the uplift to Universal Credit and increasing energy costs as key contributors to a cost of living crisis, calling on the UK and Scottish Governments to act now to address it.

MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Claire Baker said:

“It was good to visit the Gate in Alloa and hear about how they are making improvements to the lives of people who are marginalised, facing exclusion, vulnerable or homeless in the Clackmannanshire area.

“Challenge Poverty Week is a chance to focus on the steps needed to address poverty in our communities, and while the work of local organisations should be praised, we also reflect on the failure of our governments to adequately support individuals and families living in poverty.

“Both the UK and Scottish Government need to do all they can to eradicate poverty in our communities. The removal of the uplift to Universal Credit is a callous act by the UK Government which puts further pressure on families already struggling to make ends meet. The uplift was an essential lifeline during the pandemic and it has been removed at a point where many households are facing increasing bills. They need action to boost incomes and reduce the cost of living not a reduction in vital support.

“24% of children and 19% of adults in Scotland are estimated to be living in relative poverty and our UK and Scottish Governments are simply not doing enough to address the impacts or the underlying drivers of poverty in our communities. We need to see action to protect households with low incomes, the maximisation of benefits and a reduction in the cost of living.

“If we are to deliver a fair recovery from this pandemic, the eradication of poverty has to be a priority.”