Tax, targeted support and tough budget choices to be considered.
Tax, targeted support and tough budget choices will all need to be considered as part of bold measures to tackle poverty, First Minister Humza Yousaf said today after meeting poverty campaigners.
The anti-poverty summit, convened by the First Minister, saw political leaders from across the Scottish Parliament meet with people who have direct experience of poverty, campaigners, and third sector organisations.
Speaking after the event, the First Minister said:
“I called the summit to listen to the views of a wide range of partners, particularly those at the sharp end of the cost of living crisis and with direct experience of poverty, about what they believe needs to be done.
“Everything I heard confirmed that poverty and the cost of living crisis is the biggest challenge facing this country - one that has been exacerbated by some of the UK Government’s actions and inactions.
“We have already acted to tackle the pressure on those most in need - for example, our game-changing £25 per week per child Scottish Child Payment, Carer’s Allowance Supplement, and Winter Heating Payment.
“But we must do more. We must be bold in considering future tax decisions. Tough choices will need to be made about existing budgets, and we need to consider whether targeting help is the way forward when money is so tight.
“It’s not enough to wish poverty away. We have to be hard-headed and realistic about what can be done - and then we have to focus on making it happen. That means the debate must now be about tax, targeting and tough choices. We are listening and will not shy away from the decisions needed to reduce poverty.”
COSLA President Councillor Shona Morrison said:
“The initiative from the Scottish Government is a good one and one which Local Government can get fully behind. Tackling poverty is a core objective for Local Government working in partnership with the Scottish Government, the third sector and public and private sector partners.
"The cost- of-living crisis we are living through at present is being tackled head-on by Councils the length and breadth of Scotland and partnership working is vital to achieving positive outcomes for individuals, families and our communities across Scotland.”
The First Minister has set out his commitment to tackling poverty and inequality.
The anti-poverty summit was attended by around 90 delegates.
The names of guests who have accepted an invitation to attend events hosted by Scottish Ministers are routinely published. This information will be made available as soon as practicable.
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