Mixed findings on poverty in Scotland

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Pensioner poverty in Scotland is the lowest in the UK, Scotland has the lowest proportion of people who aren’t in employment, education or training, and Scots are more likely to get good qualifications, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has found.

However JRF also warn that threats to Scotland’s progress on reducing poverty are emerging. Soaring housing costs for low income families, in-work poverty and the UK benefits freeze are all taking their toll. Overall relative poverty has flatlined in Scotland following some early progress made in the early years of devolution at the turn of the century.

Childcare is cheaper in Scotland than in England, although it is more expensive than Wales.

However, life expectancy and mental health are slightly worse in Scotland than elsewhere, with poor Scots more likely to die young and experience anxiety and depression.

Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, agreed to by the UK, recognises the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions.

Douglas Hamilton, Chair of the new Poverty and Inequality Commission has said that the JRF findings will inform their advice to Scottish ministers early next year.

Read the report here.


Image credit: Stanley Zimney, Flickr