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Pedestrians crossing Waverley Bridge in central Edinburgh, with a skyline of the city's Old Town in the background.
Deep poverty and destitution
Child poverty

Deepening poverty in Scotland – no one left behind?

This briefing studies the shocking increase in very deep poverty in Scotland. The Scottish and UK Government need to reconsider their priorities if they are to argue that no one is left behind. It is possible, and the case for changing course is clear.

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In the last 20 years or so, while overall poverty levels (and particularly those for children and pensioners) have fallen, the proportion, and number, of people in very deep poverty has risen dramatically.


The UK Government should adopt the Essentials Guarantee that we are proposing with The Trussell Trust and ensure that Universal Credit is enough to ensure that no one goes without the essentials we all need.

The Scottish Government need to re-commit to and accelerate its efforts to create a Minimum Income Guarantee. It should also work to ensure that housing costs are further reduced and bring forward its review of the adequacy of disability assistance payments in Scotland.

Food bank worker sorting a bread delivery.

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