News March 2023

Scottish Poverty and Inequality Leadership Hustings

The Poverty Alliance and The Robertson Trust have organised an online hustings, seeking the views of First Minister candidates Kate Forbes, Ash Regan, and Humza Yousaf as to how they will build a more just and equal Scotland.

7PM, Wednesday, 15th March.

Scotland needs to put justice and compassion at the heart of Government – too many people are struggling to make ends meet on inadequate incomes; there is a rising tide of poverty as a result of the cost of living crisis; and inequality on the lines of gender, race, and disability remain rife.

The Poverty Alliance and The Robertson Trust are hosting a Leadership Hustings - an opportunity to hear from First Minister candidates about how they will tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland.

The Scottish Government has taken action to tackle inequality and support people on low incomes through the development of Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plans, the introduction of Scottish social security support, and wider efforts to tackle inequality through the publication of key strategies including the Fair Work Action Plan. But are these delivering for the people of Scotland, and how will Scotland’s next First Minister make tackling poverty and inequality a key priority?

This event is open to all and offers an opportunity to ask questions of the leadership candidates about how they will prioritise action to build a more equal Scotland.

Our CEO, Jim McCormick, said: “With the uneven effects of Covid-19 in Scotland having both exacerbated old inequalities and created new ones, it is imperative that Scotland’s next First Minister deepens the Government’s commitment to solving poverty.

“We know that poverty locks people out of opportunities - but also that it can be solved by enabling them to withstand the tide of insecurity. This requires a new level of commitment. At this timely event, we look forward to hearing candidates’ ideas to design better solutions with others, including employers, housing providers and other funders, to help create a fair and compassionate Scotland where everyone has the opportunity to flourish.

“Poverty is not inevitable – but decisive action on many fronts is needed to reduce the stark risks already being crystalised across Scotland.”

Poverty Alliance director Peter Kelly said: “We must make sure that the next First Minister maintains focus on the injustice of poverty and inequality in Scotland, building on positive actions like Scottish Child Payment.

“We look forward to hearing the candidates’ ideas about raising the investment needed to rebuild and renew the public services that we all rely on, and which are a vital lifeline for people on the lowest incomes.

"We also hope to hear how they will strengthen our social security system to lift more people out of poverty, invest in warm homes for everyone, make sure every child is entitled to a nutritious free school meal, and build a just and compassionate Scotland where everyone has the incomes they need for a secure and dignified life.”

Register for the event here.