4 December 2018

Shock figures from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has revealed the scale of poverty in Scotland. Scottish data from the foundation’s ‘UK Poverty 2018’ report reveals 1 million people in Scotland living in poverty, of which:

• 230,000 are children

• 140,000 are pensioners

• 630,00 are working age people.

The figures also reveal that 340,000 people of working age are living in poverty despite living in working homes.

Labour said the figures should spur immediate action from the SNP government ahead of the Scottish budget, and rested calls to life the two-child cap on tax credits and increase Child Benefit by £5 per week.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said:

“These figures reveal the shameful scale of poverty and inequality in Scotland and underline the need for a budget from Derek Mackay next week that takes urgent action to lift people out of poverty.

“Behind each statistic are real lives damaged by the stress, pain and disruption of living in poverty.

“There is something seriously wrong when one million people in Scotland are living in poverty.

“Increasing numbers of children are now growing up in poverty as their parents are unable to escape insecure work and low pay.

“This is proof, right here, that the Tories and the SNP are failing people across Scotland. The next Labour Government will end the social security freeze. But it will also introduce a £10 an hour Real Living Wage as part of a break from austerity and the adoption of an active strategy for industry. These measures will lift people out of poverty.

“We can make different choices in Scotland too, by using the powers delivered by the 2016 Scotland Act. That’s why in the budget next week Scottish Labour wants to see a £5 per week top up to Child Benefit, and an end to the two-child cap on tax credits.”

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