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- Equality and rights
Statistics show “long-term” challenge of poverty – Constance
A new Scottish Government publication shows the “significant long-term challenge” of tackling deprivation, according to Communities Secretary Angela Constance.
The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) publication ranks almost 7000 small areas covering all of Scotland from most- to least-deprived. It combines data from across the UK and Scottish Governments, police and the NHS and is promoted across a range of groups to use the statistics to benefit communities.
The index is used to help the Scottish Government, local authorities, the NHS and the third sector target investment and policies and forms part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to making information as open and transparent as possible.
Communities Secretary Angela Constance said:
“The SIMD is important – and widely used in both the public and third sectors – because it clearly sets out where the most deprived areas in Scotland are, so we can ensure public funding, policies and services can be targeted most effectively.
“While changes in methodology mean it’s not possible to compare directly with previous years, SIMD is always a good reminder of why Scotland needs a government committed to tackling deep seated deprivation, poverty and inequalities.
“This will not be an easy job while we do not have the full levers of power, but I am determined we take on the challenge of making a generational change for those areas that have been in poverty for too long. In the face of continuing UK Government welfare cuts, an austerity agenda and attempts to take Scotland out of Europe, this will continue to be a long-term challenge.
“We are spending £100 million protecting people against the worst effects of welfare reform and every pound spent on mitigation measures is a pound less that can be spent on lifting people out of poverty. But while UK Government policies are making matters worse for people on low incomes, we will continue to do all we can to tackle poverty and inequality.
“That is why we are currently consulting on our aims to eradicate child poverty and to ensure our social security system will have dignity and fairness at its heart.
“Our consultation on ending child poverty outlines ambitious long-term targets reaching as far as 2030. This problem needs continuous action and that is why our Fairer Scotland Action Plan, which will be published this autumn, will set out the range of ambitious actions we will take in this parliamentary term and beyond.”
The SIMD is used by some charities to direct their resources or to attract funding, as well as to help communities and organisations identify neighbourhood issues.
Clare Steen, Business Development Officer from Wester Hailes Youth Agency, said:
“The Wester Hailes Youth Agency works with young people aged 8-25 in South West Edinburgh.
“We use the SIMD to identify need where we work. Funders often ask us to back up what young people tell us with statistical data and the SIMD is really useful for this.”