Scotland’s poverty rate a ‘deep injustice’, says Oxfam Scotland

Hands holding an empty wallet

Oxfam Scotland has called on the Scottish Government to use its tax powers to urgently address Scotland’s persistent poverty problem, as new official figures released today – the first for two years – show that more than one in five people in Scotland live in poverty. 

The statistics suggest that the poverty rate is much higher for single women with children, people who are Black as well as other people of colour, and people who live in a household where someone has a disability. 

Oxfam Scotland has branded the figures a ‘deep injustice’ and is calling on both the UK and Scottish Government to take urgent and sustained action to tackle Scotland’s stubbornly high poverty rate.  

Oxfam Scotland says that while the Scottish Government has taken some positive steps to tackle poverty facing some groups, including children in low-income households and some unpaid carers, the next First Minister needs to go further, faster. 

Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, said: “This disturbing data shows that the pandemic and cost of living crisis have dealt a devastating double blow to those on the lowest incomes.  

“The UK Government must act, but the next First Minister must do so too. They should acknowledge that tackling poverty requires greater action to narrow the yawning gap between rich and poor and use all of the powers at their disposal to do more than just tweak tax: instead, they should introduce bold, progressive taxation, including targeting wealth. Only then will they end the injustice of poverty for good and build a fairer future for all of us.” 

For more information and interviews, please contact: Rebecca Lozza, Oxfam Media and Communications Adviser, Scotland and Wales: / 07917738450     

Notes to Editors 

  • Oxfam Scotland, the Poverty Alliance, CPAG in Scotland, the Scottish Women’s Budget Group, One Parent Families Scotland, and IPPR Scotland are calling for the Scottish Government to use its devolved tax powers to boost household incomes while investing in public services and climate action.  
  • Read Oxfam Scotland’s briefing Time to Tax here: