Reported by The National – the news we share raises awareness of equality issues being reported in the media.

MORE than one million Scots are now struggling with poverty – including 240,000 children, 640,000 working-age adults and 150,000 pensioners, new figures have revealed.

The rise is from an “already unacceptably high level” although the percentage of the population is lower than the rest of the UK, thanks to cheaper housing costs, particularly in the rented social sector.

Influential think tank the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has now called for more action to tackle the problem if Scotland is to meet its anti-poverty targets.

Upon releasing the figures to mark Challenge Poverty Week, which begins today, the foundation said a “focused commitment” from housing providers, public service providers and employers was required.

While figures from 2015-18 were lower than at the beginning of devolution in 1999, the foundation’s Poverty in Scotland report 2019 shows they have now “started to shift upwards”.

The news comes as a separate report showed the number of food parcels given out has risen by 73% since 2013/14, with social workers even using their own money to make sure families have enough to eat.

The Trussell Trust said the number of parcels had increased from around 913,000 to nearly 1.6 million. By comparison, in 2010-11 the number of food parcels provided was 61,468.

One social worker said the increase had rocketed since the introduction of the UK Government’s controversial welfare policy Universal Credit.

The Scottish Association of Social Work is now promoting a guide for social workers to help them when supporting families living in poverty.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has welcomed the Scottish Government’s forthcoming Scottish Child Payment of £10 each week for struggling families with children but called for more action.



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