Help poor now

The Scotsman - - Perspective / Letters To The Editor -

Un­for­tu­nately, I was not sur­prised by the find­ings of Cit­i­zens Ad­vice Scot­land’s Bring­ing Food to the Ta­ble re­port, which re­vealed more than a fifth of peo­ple in Scot­land, in­clud­ing many in em­ploy­ment, have gone a day with­out eat­ing be­cause they can­not af­ford food (your re­port, 7 De­cem­ber).

It is ap­palling that in 21st cen­tury Scot­land, 35 per cent of work­ing re­spon­dents said they were strug­gling to af­ford bal­anced means. Sadly, these are the sto­ries I hear from in­di­vid­u­als and fam­i­lies that we work with ev­ery day. In the last 12 months, ap­pli­ca­tions to Aber­lour Chil­dren’s Char­ity’s Ur­gent As­sis­tance Fund, which pro­vides cash grants for peo­ple in ur­gent need of fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance across the coun­try, rose by over 80 per cent. As such, we have given out dou­ble the amount of money to peo­ple in cri­sis to help them buy ev­ery­day es­sen­tial items such as food and ba­sic cloth­ing.

That is why, ahead of the Scot­tish Bud­get on 12 De­cem­ber, I have urged the Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary to con­sider in­tro­duc­ing the new Fam­ily In­come Sup­ple­ment now, as com­mit­ted to by the Scot­tish Govern­ment in Ev­ery Child Ev­ery Chance, and not in three or four years’ time. I be­lieve this would al­le­vi­ate the worst ef­fects of fi­nan­cial hard­ship for many strug­gling fam­i­lies across Scot­land.

Poverty is a po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion and as in­equal­i­ties in in­come con­tinue to deepen, Scot­land needs a bud­get that pro­vides

more money for low in­come house­holds. No one should be forced to re­duce or skip meals be­cause they can­not af­ford ba­sic food items.

SALLYANN KELLY

Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Aber­lour Chil­dren’s Char­ity

Park Ter­race, Stir­ling

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