Mason’s message to UK Government: “Tackling poverty must become priority”

09 Dec 2008

A report published this week by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has found that the drive to end poverty in the UK has stalled, even before the recession starts to bite.

Based on the latest UK Government data on unemployment, education, health, the report finds that despite some initial success for many of Scotland’s most vulnerable people the situation is worsening or remains unchanged.

Data relating specifically to Scotland finds poverty in pockets of deprivation, where working-age adults claiming out-of-work benefits are concentrated, have hardly changed over the past ten years.

Commenting on the report, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson John Mason said:

“This research makes for depressing reading. As the recession takes its toll, it is more important than ever that the UK Government takes real action to help those caught in the poverty trap.

“It is clear that there has been a particular problem with the tax and benefits system which must be reformed to ensure that nobody is overlooked or stuck in a cycle of poverty.

“With the Welfare Reform Bill coming forward this week, it is critical that Ministers take account of the changing economic climate and the additional pressures it places on those struggling to make ends meet.”