***Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Alex Rowley calls for a comprehensive Scottish Anti-Poverty Strategy***
Alex Rowley, Deputy Leader of Scottish Labour, has called for a comprehensive anti-poverty strategy to be undertaken across Scotland.
Speaking at a visit to a food bank in Dunfermline, Mr Rowley said:
“We must do much more to tackle poverty, inequality and deprivation in Scotland. It is becoming increasingly clear that we need to develop a comprehensive strategy that creates a joined up approach across all areas and levels of government and includes key partners in business, industry, the third sector and the communities that make up Scotland. We need to start afresh, and begin by clearly defining what poverty means in 21st century Scotland. From here we can begin to build a model that aims to eradicate the blight that poverty puts on people’s lives. The last Labour Government at Westminster demonstrated that government can make a difference and we saw record numbers of children and older people lifted out of poverty. This has been reversed by Tory austerity and we are seeing severe poverty rise all over.
“Poverty eradication must be at the centre of Government policy, as it is an issue that effects so many different areas of public policy – including housing, health, education, welfare and more. What we really need to see is a joined up approach that brings all of this together and aims to properly deal with the issue at heart: that poverty is an all-encompassing and pervasive problem that must be stamped out of modern Scottish life”.
Mr Rowley, Scottish Labour Party spokesperson on Communities, Social Security and Equalities has called for the launch of the Scotland wide anti-poverty strategy following the latest Scottish Government statistics showing around 1 in 10 Scots are in “severe poverty”.
Mr Rowley went on to say:
“We need to move beyond good intentions and transform talking into action. Last year the Trussel Trust provided three-day emergency food supplies to 133,726 people in crisis, including 43,962 packs for children. Food banks across the country are seeing more and more people having to rely on them and it is simply not acceptable.
“It is time we tackled poverty in Scotland head-on. A comprehensive strategy on tackling poverty is essential to move forward, we need to define poverty, and provide a strategy that can set clear and measurable outcomes in all areas of policy and tackles over a generation the scourge of poverty on our country”.