A shocking new report reveals that 910,000 Scots live in poverty â€“ including 25% of the countryâ€™s children. Sunday Herald investigations editor Neil Mackay writes: “Jack McConnell will cringe this coming Friday. The first minister is to address a unique event that day at Glasgow Caledonian University unveiling a special five-year study into the extent of poverty in Scotland. For a man who leads a government which claims to put children at the heart of policy, and has vowed to eradicate child poverty, the report, simply entitled Poverty In Scotland 2007, will make extremely miserable reading.
“There will be little opportunity for even slick New Labour spin doctors to put a positive gloss on the report. The worst findings include:
• One-fifth of the Scottish population, 910,000 people, live in poverty;
• One in four Scottish children, 240,000 boys and girls, live in poverty. Back in 1979, only one in eight children lived in poverty;
• Of all those experiencing poverty in Scotland, one in five live in Glasgow;
• One in 10 of Scotland’s rural population is officially poor;
• Nearly a quarter of all children living in poverty are in households where an adult is working full-time;
• 30% of “poverty pay” – wages which leave the employee below the poverty line – come from the public sector: jobs which are paid for by the government;
• 77,000 children officially recognised as living in poverty don’t get a free school meal; l Scotland is poorer in the 21st century than it was in the 1960s.
“The report, which examines poverty in Scotland over a five-year period up to the beginning of 2007, cannot be sneered at or dismissed. Among the charities and NGOs which wrote the 182-page report are: The Poverty Alliance, The Child Poverty Action Group, the Scottish Poverty Information Unit and the Scottish Drugs Forum.
“The report was also written by a host of academics from The Open University, Glasgow Caledonian University, the University of Paisley and the University of Strathclyde. Experts on health, childcare, economics, community development, education, law and social policy also helped compile the report. The most damning data used came from Holyrood own official statistics.”
• Full story at the Sunday Herald.