Oxfam Scotland reacts to latest poverty and inequality figures

Reacting to the publication of national statistics for poverty in Scotland in 2014/15 [1], Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said:
“It is clear that not enough progress is being made on tackling poverty in Scotland. There are still over 940,000 people living in relative poverty after housing costs (AHC), the same number as 2013-14.
“Worryingly, the proportion of people experiencing in-work poverty is on the rise. In 2014/15, 58% of working age adults in poverty (AHC) were living in working households, as were 66% of children.
“These figures show that we must redouble efforts to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland.
“The SNP manifesto included the commitment to establishing a Poverty and Inequality Commission. This body should be established as soon as possible and must be allowed to move beyond statements of concern to recommending and securing specific changes in policy.”

Livingstone continued: 
“The route out of poverty doesn’t stop with finding work. As our own research has shown [2], we need to improve the quality of employment. The SNP’s promised Labour Market Strategy must do all it can to enhance the quality of work for people in Scotland, particularly the large numbers of women working in low paid sectors such as social care, retail and hospitality.”

 [1] ‘Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland: 2014/15’, national statistics on poverty in Scotland: https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/06/3468
[2] ‘What makes for decent work?’ (March 2016) Oxfam Scotland, UWS and Warwick Institute for Employment Research report:  https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/what-makes-for-decent-work-a-study-with-low-paid-workers-in-scotland-600955 
[3] Oxfam Scotland’s policy paper – “Even It Up: Scotland’s Role in Tackling Poverty by Reducing Inequality at Home and Abroad” – outlines nine policy priorities for the Scottish Parliament – including decent work – and can be accessed here: https://oxf.am/Zn6u