01/07/2014 – Today’s figures published by the Scottish Government on Poverty and Inequality show a rise in the number of people in Scotland living in poverty, and highlights the continuing increase in in-work poverty. In 2012/13, 16 per cent of people in Scotland were living in poverty, compared with 14 per cent the previous year. In real terms, this means that there are now 820,000 individuals are now living in poverty in Scotland.
The report presents annual estimates of the percentage and number of children, working age adults and pensioners living in low income households in Scotland, and the distribution of household income across Scotland.
The report found that children were the group most likely to be living in poverty, with 19 per cent of children living in poverty, compared to 15 per cent of working age adults and 15 per cent of pensioners.
Child poverty rose from 15 per cent in 11/12 to 19 per cent in 2012/13. This reverses the downward trend in child poverty in recent years and much of this is due to a fall in household incomes for working households with children.Six in ten children in poverty in Scotland in 2012/13 were living in households where at least one adult was in employment.This is due to a combination of issues including a reduction in tax credit entitlement, pay freezes and a rising cost of living.
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said today:
“It is extremely disappointing to see an increase of 110,000 people living in poverty in Scotland between 11/12 and 12/13.
“We are especially concerned that the previous downward trends in child poverty figures has been reversed.
“Much of this is due to the policies being pursued by the current UK Government.
“Regressive tax policies and punitive welfare reform measures are pushing more and more people into poverty.
“People in Scotland and the UK quite simply don’t have enough money to live on.
“We need to see a meaningful increase in benefit levels and both Government’s need to do more to create quality, well paid jobs.
“It is unacceptable that over half (52 per cent) of working age adults in poverty were in households where someone was in work, and 110 thousand children in Scotland were living in households affected by in-work poverty.
“People should not work for their poverty, and deserve to be properly paid for their work.
“These are not just statistics, these are people’s lives. We need to remember this when developing the policies needed to address poverty, and put those with experience of poverty at the heart of finding the solutions to the problems.
“Governments at the UK and Scottish levels need to take action now to ensure that we don’t see further increases in the future.”
You can find today’s publication from the Scottish Government here: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2014/07/9247
For more information contact Carla McCormack, Policy and Parliamentary Officer on 07853860893 or email firstname.lastname@example.org