Let’s see finally an end to poverty in 2017
With new powers over taxation and social security coming to the Scottish Parliament, 2017 has the potential to be the year that we make a meaningful difference to the lives of people on low incomes.
Over the past year, the Poverty Alliance has worked with people with direct experience of poverty to find out what their priorities are for the coming year and beyond. These included suggestions on the living wage, assessments on disability benefits, social security delivery and benefit levels.
There is a clear drive to do more about poverty in Scotland and we must build on this. This is a time to think about the type of Scotland we want to live in and to be ambitious. Scotland may not have all of the powers that the Poverty Alliance and others called for, but this should not stop us using the ones we do have.
In 2017 important new steps will be taken by the Scottish Government that will help focus attention on the pressing need to take radical action to address poverty.
Legislation will be brought forward to create a new Child Poverty Act, a Social Security Bill will be launched, a new Poverty and Inequality Commission will be established and the socio-economic duty will be implemented.
We must ensure that all of these opportunities are taken to address the real problems that people living on low incomes tell the Poverty Alliance about.
We believe the new powers coming to Scotland provide the perfect opportunity to make a real difference in the fight against poverty.
We are calling on the Scottish Government to use these powers to top up child benefits and means tested benefits for working age adults.
While poverty is about more than money, it is ultimately putting money into people’s pockets that makes the most difference. We know that poverty is not inevitable so we should not accept it. Let’s make 2017 the year that we don’t.