MSP Haughey vows action on poverty
Clare Haughey MSP says her SNP government is working to tackle poverty as a new reports shows 14.6 per cent of people in the UK have lived in poverty for a whole year between 2012 and 2015.
Statistics revealed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the number of households in poverty is on the increase across the UK.
Looking at persistent poverty, the ONS data shows that 14.6 per cent of people in the UK had been at risk of poverty in only one of the years between 2012 and 2015, a further seven per cent had been at risk for two years; four per cent for three years and, four per cent had been at risk of poverty in all four years between 2012 and 2015.
The report comes after the Institute of Fiscal Studies estimated that an additional 1.2 million children will be in relative poverty in the UK in the year 2021-22 when compared to 2014-15.
But Ms Haughey, MSP for Rutherglen and Cambuslang, said her colleague Angela Constance, cabinet secretary for communities, is about to introduce a raft of legislation to address the growing problems north of the border.
In an exchange in the Scottish Parliament Ms Constance said: “Our Fairer Scotland Action Plan sets out 50 concrete actions that we will take in this parliamentary term.
“These include a £29 million programme for communities and the third sector to tackle poverty; the introduction of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill, setting out ambitious 2030 targets; the establishment of a Poverty and Inequality Commission to provide independent advice and scrutiny; and the forthcoming consultation on a socioeconomic duty, which will ensure that public bodies take full consideration of socioeconomic disadvantage when making key decisions.
“We are already making progress on many of these actions and a full update will be published in October this year.”
Ms Haughey has been monitoring actions on poverty in Scotland after the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation, released in August last year, showed huge swathes of Rutherglen and Cambuslang are gripped in poverty.
It showed parts of Rutherglen central, Springhall, Fernhill, Burnhill, Whitlawburn, Westburn, Halfway and the Circuit are in the top five per cent of the most impoverished areas in the country.
Ms Haughey said: “The Fairer Scotland Action Plan and the introduction of the Child Poverty (Scotland Bill) are to be welcomed, as is the additional protection offered by the government to those on low incomes.
“If the Scottish Government had full control of welfare and the key economic powers required to boost our economy, both of which are opposed by the Tories and Labour, we could do much more for those in our communities blighted by poverty.”
Our plan sets out 50 concrete actions that we will take in this parliamentary term
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