National mission to eradicate poverty gets underway

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A NATIONAL mission aiming to eradicate poverty and build a fairer, more equal Scotland will be announced today.

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison will urge political parties to work together in Scotland to effect change.

Ms Robison will also write to the UK Government calling for full devolution of employment powers, enabling Scotland to introduce the real living wage, reduce insecure work and create fairer workplaces to tackle poverty.

homeless person on box| Politics News Scotland
A national mission to eradicate poverty and build a fairer, more equal Scotland will be announced today by Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison(Photo from Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

Ms Robison said: “It is time for us to work together to eradicate poverty in Scotland.

“While the pandemic has thrown into sharp relief the hardships faced by many in this country, it has also shown that we can make change happen at the pace and scale required for this new national mission.

“During the pandemic we provided an additional £1 billion to people and communities and to build resilience in public services during the pandemic, with an immediate impact on people’s lives.

“Our actions meant children and young people from low income families were able to access free school meal support during all school holidays and periods of remote learning, as well as putting money in the pockets of those who needed it most through Pandemic Support Payments.

“Now we must redouble our efforts, working across government, parliament and society to build a fairer, more equal Scotland where everyone has enough food to eat, a warm, safe home that meets their needs and the means to give their children the best start in life.”

Ms Robison will lead the debate on Tackling Poverty in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon.

 

Alison Watson. Director of Shelter Scotland| Politics News Scotland
Alison Watson, Director of Shelter Scotland(Photo by Phil Wilkinson)

Alison Watson, the Director of leading housing charity Shelter Scotland, said: “We support the Scottish Government’s mission to eradicate poverty, and, as part of that goal, we have called on them to build enough social homes – at least 37,100 – to begin reducing Scotland’s affordable housing need over the next five years.

“Before the pandemic took hold in March last year, we were already dealing with increasing levels of homelessness, people still being put into appalling and unsafe temporary accommodation and tens of thousands of people waiting for years on housing waiting lists for a home they desperately need.

“We have nearly 8,000 children trapped in temporary accommodation, and research, recently carried out by YouGov, revealed that 1.5 million people in Scotland are impacted by the housing emergency.

“That’s 1.5 million people struggling with the cost of keeping a home; living in damp, dangerous conditions; overcrowded or in fear of losing their home to unscrupulous landlords. These are symptoms of a crisis tolerated for too long, and it is these issues that must be addressed if we are to eradicate poverty in Scotland.”