MSP Haughey vows ac­tion on poverty

Rutherglen Reformer - - Out And About - Edel Ke­nealy

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

Al­leys­bank Road; Farmeloan Road; Main Street; Burn­hill Street; Cath­cart Road; Cath­cart Place. August 12, 9.35am. Main Street, Ruther­glen; Dal­marnock Road; Farmeloan Road; Al­leys­bank Road. August 12, 8.30am (from Glas­gow). Cath­cart Place, Ruther­glen; Cath­cart Place; Cath­cart Road; Burn­hill Street; Chapel Street to Ceno­taph for a wreath lay­ing cer­e­mony; Chapel Street; Burn­hill Street; Main Street; Farmeloan Road; Al­leys­bank Road. August 12, out­ward time, 8.15am, in­ward time, 3pm. All in­for­ma­tion cor­rect as of this week. Planned works sub­ject to de­lays and can­cel­la­tions. Visit www. road­workss­cot­land.org

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