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Scots Take The Lead In The Fight Against Poverty

People in Scotland are ahead of the rest of the UK in wanting to tackle poverty. That’s one of the findings of a poll unveiled by the new campaign group, GetFair Scotland.

The campaign will today (Wednesday) visit the Scottish Parliament to challenge top politicians to take the lead now in turning these good intentions into action.

The poll, conducted last autumn across the UK by YouGov,shows that 51 per cent of people in the UK would support a political party that would take ‘serious measures’ to eradicate poverty.

However, in Scotland this figure rose to 62 per cent, with 1 in 4 Scottish respondents ‘strongly agreeing’ with the statement. This was higher than every other region/nation of the UK. The regions that came closest to the Scottish levels were London and the South East (where the figure was 1 in 5).

Other key findings of the poll include:

  • 77 per cent of Scots think the most effective way of fighting poverty is to provide more and better training for those voluntary sector agencies who are charged with helping the poor.
  • 44 per cent of Scots felt Government intervention was vital in the fight against poverty. This figure was higher than all other UK regions, with the average across the UK (excluding Scotland) being just 35 per cent.
  • Only 1 per cent of Scots think poverty doesn’t exist, with just 5 per cent thinking ‘nothing can be done’.

GetFair spokesman Peter Kelly, who is Director of the Poverty Alliance in Scotland, said:

“There are nearly a million people in Scotland living in poverty today. That’s virtually 1 person in every 5. And in the current economic climate, the prospect of falling into poverty is closer for many others than they may think.

“As unemployment increases, people will be faced with the reality of living on welfare payments set well below the poverty line. Not only will they have to make ends meet on much reduced resources, but any debts already accumulated will be likely to spiral out of control.

“Of course it is the poorest and most vulnerable in our communities who are hit hardest by these pressures. We say If banks can be bailed out by government intervention, so can the poor!

“We are asking all MSPs - starting with the leaders of all the five parties represented in the Scottish Parliament - to sign up to the ‘Poverty Pledge’ to make sure that people living in poverty will not be forgotten.

“There is no place for poverty in 21st century Scotland. The Scottish people have shown their passionate commitment to fighting it. The question now is: Will our politicians match them?”

CONTACT: Tony Hutson 0131 550 1010 - 07774 751655 -