Charities claim Scotland faces 'humanitarian crisis' caused by poverty

Scotland's Outlook The Scotland's Outlook campaign aims to raise awareness of what it claims are rising levels of poverty across Scotland

Related Stories

A campaign aimed at highlighting the "humanitarian crisis" caused by poverty in Scotland has been launched by a group of charities.

The Scotland's Outlook campaign claimed hundreds of thousands of people were being "battered" by welfare reforms, stagnant wages, rising utility bills, higher living costs and job insecurity.

And it said many families were having to use food banks to feed themselves.

It called on people across the country to "join the fight against poverty".

The campaign is being run jointly by Macmillan, Shelter Scotland, Oxfam, Alzheimer Scotland, Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS), Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), the Poverty Alliance and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).

Start Quote

With nearly a million people in Scotland living in poverty, we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands and we need everyone's help to tackle it”

End Quote Martin Sime SCVO

It claimed more than 870,000 people in Scotland were living in poverty, with a fifth of children in Scotland living below the breadline and 23,000 people having turned to food banks in the past six months.

Martin Sime, chief executive of the SCVO, said: "With nearly a million people in Scotland living in poverty, we have a humanitarian crisis on our hands and we need everyone's help to tackle it.

"Thousands of people are turning to food banks, struggling to heat their homes, and to clothe themselves and their children. It's not right.

"We want people to wake up to the poverty storm that's engulfing Scotland and get active in the fight against it."

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: "People across Scotland are being battered by welfare reforms, stagnant wages, rising utility bills, higher living costs and job insecurity.

"Set against the background of 155,100 households on council waiting lists and nearly 40,000 homelessness applications last year, it is clear that much more needs to be done to combat the root causes of poverty if we are to improve the prospects for everyone living in Scotland."

Foodbank Charities said many families were using foodbanks

"We see and hear the misery poverty causes every day. Not only does it have a devastating impact on home life, it has long-term detrimental effects on people's health, wellbeing and life chances - especially children."

The campaign said a key issue was easing the financial burden of childcare in order to make it easier for parents to work.

Hazel, a lone parent living in Fife, said: "I did not want to be a single mum on benefits, like you see on the news. Those mums were portrayed as lazy scroungers and I definitely was not like that.

"I really wanted to work but every way I turned I was hit with barriers and this made accessing employment so difficult. Childcare was so expensive and not readily available in my area."

She added: "I think there needs to be more support for lone parents accessing employment but from an early stage. Childcare needs to be made a priority in all areas, and it should be more affordable and easily accessible."

The campaign will use social media in an attempt to public awareness of the work they are doing to combat poverty across the country.

In a report published last month, the Joseph Rowntree foundation said child poverty in Scotland had fallen at about twice the rate of England over the past 10 years.

And official government statistics released in June said the number of people living in relative poverty had fallen slightly, from 780,000 in 2010/11 to 710,000 the following year.

But the figures from Scotland's chief statistician also showed there had been a fall in the average household earnings in Scotland, from £461 per week to £436, over the same period.


More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites


This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
  • rate this

    Comment number 325.


    What is the Barnett Formula?


    HA HA
    And England's mining,shipbuilding,car and steel manufacture are thriving ????????

  • rate this

    Comment number 324.

    '1. Scotland, as part of the UK, most likely having a frightening CON / UKIP government in 2015.'

    "Most likely?" Haven't seen the evidence for THAT one, I must say.

  • rate this

    Comment number 323.

    There are uncertainties in a YES vote, but do not believe that a NO vote means a 'SAFE' vote.

    A NO vote means a vote for:

    1. Scotland, as part of the UK, most likely having a frightening CON / UKIP government in 2015.

    2. Scotland, as part of UK, being removed from the EU in 2017.

    3. Removal of Scotland's Barnett funding.

    Scotland deserves better than this, and we can do this with a YES.

  • rate this

    Comment number 322.

    The nationalists are out in force today - all loving this story.

    Why? Because, like a disease, NATIONALISM FEEDS OFF POVERTY. That is how Hitler got to power and that is why the majority of free-thinking Scots will be voting NO to independence.

  • rate this

    Comment number 321.

    #293 We made things here before that vile woman took office. We mined coal, built ships, made cars, made steel.

    As you forgot to mention
    Mining coal - at a loss
    Shipbuilding - at a loss
    Made cars (BL) - at a loss
    Made steel - at a loss

    Everything you are so proud of was completely uneconomic. You wanted the rest of us to support this fantasy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 320.

    In a modern Scotland and this is going on ...... and a smiling Danny Alexander recently pictured at a local food bank .... sums it up , Scotland has to rise

  • rate this

    Comment number 319.

    311. Amicus Alba
    "I've a substantial bet on Salmond losing / resigning. The odds weren't all that rewarding - which tells you something eh?"

    It tells us much about you and your interest in personal enrichment rather than the topic supposedly being discussed here, or even the well-being of Scotland.

    Who would best use oil revenues, tax & welfare powers to improve the lot of these unfortunates?

  • rate this

    Comment number 318.

    315 TM - This isn't about 'fault', it's about self determination and an opportunity for true democracy......How would you feel about this union if Scotland had a population 10 times that of England, there was one SNP MP in England, and the UK had a SNP government ?..... I suspect that independence wouldn't be far from your mind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 317.


    You are soooo out of touch with reality. Have you read anything about independence, or are you just believing what the TV and newspapers are spouting out?

  • rate this

    Comment number 316.

    The problems we have at the moment are nothing. If you want to know what REAL poverty feels like just vote yes in September.

  • rate this

    Comment number 315.

    Always Westminster's fault, same old line. Once Scotland votes yes and retains all the wealth that apparently 'flows south", poverty issues over yes? We are constantly told we take all Scotland's money so a yes vote would surely sort this out. No currency union, warships built in Portsmouth or Barrow, no free BBC and the list goes on.

  • rate this

    Comment number 314.

    Support for Scottish independence is not about individual politicians, nor is it about political parties...It's about putting this country in a position where it can chose to elect governments who will PUT SCOTLAND FIRST ...A YES vote is not a vote for Alex Salmond or the SNP, it's a vote for Scotland to determination it's future, instead of the likes of Cameron, Osborne and Farage.

  • rate this

    Comment number 313.

    Do we really think an independent Scotland will solve the inequality problems? Hardly. If we go independent, all those with money will move down south or beyond. Where will the money come from after that? Let me guess, the middle earners such as teachers and police will go on a 70pc tax rate. We will never get rid of poverty unless we have a full nanny state.

  • rate this

    Comment number 312.

    #305 So speaking from experience about the WElite? No Scottish Government minister has ever has ever steered UK or Scottish Welfare policy. Hate to point out the obvious...
    #304 We already have debt and if you believe these figures also 'massive poverty'
    #296 Its a bit more interesting than Labour inducing apathy. Not a Nat but the line 'a shiver looking for a spine to run up' was a peach.

  • rate this

    Comment number 311.

    303. Barbazenzero

    "Want rid of Salmond - the architect of division in Scotland and the UK?"

    "Vote NO and he's gone the next day! Simples."

    Wrong as usual, but you have a grain of truth there"

    So you clearly think Salmond will remain the day he loses the referendum?

    I've a substantial bet on Salmond losing / resigning. The odds weren't all that rewarding - which tells you something eh?.

  • rate this

    Comment number 310.

    297. graeme_p

    No one should be left to suffer in poverty, it's in-compassionate.

    Poverty leads to people suffering long term health & social problems kids end up in care or worse.

    Studies showed that low earners who needed multiple prescriptions went without due to costs, this lead to long term health problems at a higher cost to the NHS, free prescriptions prevents this saving the tax payer

  • Comment number 309.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 308.

    Welfare is reserved. This is a Westminster only drive on saving money from welfare. Nothing to do with SNP. Ignorance of this is patent and distorts the truth.

  • rate this

    Comment number 307.

    cameron and his London based party -

    milliband and his London based party -

    - are promising tax cuts for wealthy!

    These are the priorities of London based parties!

    Do you think they care about folk from impoverished schemes in Scotland?

    C McK

  • rate this

    Comment number 306.

    Westminster will almost certainly return a frightening CON / UKIP coalition government in 2015 which will remove the UK from the EU after a UK vote in 2017, as well as removing the Barnett Formula if Scotland is still part of the UK...Then so many more Scots will know all about real hardship.... If you intend voting 'No' in the referendum, then be aware of what you will in fact be voting FOR ?


Page 1 of 17


More Scotland stories


Features & Analysis

  • TricycleTreasure trove

    The lost property shop stuffed with diamonds, bikes... and a leg

  • Boris Nemtsov'I loved Nemtsov'

    A murder in an atmosphere of hatred and intolerance

  • Image of George from Tube CrushTube crush

    How London's male commuters set Chinese hearts racing

  • INDHUJA'Dorky tomboy'

    The Indian who attracted proposals through honesty

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Best in show

    BBC Autos takes a look at 10 of the most eye-catching new cars at the 2015 Geneva motor show


  • Kinetic sculpture violinClick Watch

    The "kinetic sculpture" that can replicate digital files and play them on a violin

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.