Reaction to release of the Scottish Government’s ‘Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2014/15’ report

Reacting to release of the Scottish Government’s “Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland 2013/14” report – the latest official figures on poverty in Scotland – Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said:


“These figures show a welcome return to the downward trend for poverty in Scotland after the previous year-on-year rise, but we should remain impatient for faster progress.

“Even with this decrease, 730,000 are still living in poverty in Scotland, rising to 940,000 when the cost of housing is taken into account – that remains a stubborn stain which blots Scotland’s society.

“These figures reveal that housing is an increasingly important driver of poverty, particularly for those in rental accommodation where housing costs have been rising faster than incomes.

“It is also worrying to see the 20,000 increase in the number of children living in low income homes while also being deprived of the essentials people consider to be basic necessities – that should worry us all.

“The slight fall in in-work poverty is encouraging but the fact that nearly half of working age adults living in poverty are still living in families where someone works reinforces the need for more decent jobs which pay a living wage and provide secure and predictable hours.”

Earlier this week the Scottish Government appointed an independent adviser on poverty and inequality, and last week it launched a national discussion about how to create a fairer Scotland.

Mr Livingstone added: “Political focus on the causes and solutions of poverty and inequality in Scotland must produce substantive action to have a meaningful impact for the nearly one in five people in poverty.

“Of course, any reduction in the number of people living in poverty is good news, but the reality for far too many people continues to be a life blighted by insufficient income.”

[1] The Scottish Government’s media release about today’s report is here:

[2] In 2013/14, 13 per cent of children were living in combined low income and material deprivation, an increase from 11 per cent the previous year. This equates to 130 thousand children living in material deprivation, 20 thousand more than the previous year.

[3] For more information   about the appointment of Scotland’s first Poverty and Inequality Adviser to the First Minister, see: 2015/06/oxfam-scotland-welcomes-appointment-of-poverty-adviser