Dear Prime Minister,
An Open Letter from Scotland’s Poverty Truth Commission
The ‘people of Scotland have spoken’ and have decided that Scotland will remain an integral part of the United Kingdom. Now is the time for us all to work together for the changes which all political parties have committed to and for which there is a clear hunger throughout the nation.
People in Scotland who struggle against poverty on a daily basis were on both sides of the debate. Some wanted to remain part of the United Kingdom and others wanted an independent Scotland. It would be wrong to claim otherwise. However, it is also clear that there is a correlation, at least at local authority level, between the intensity of the levels of poverty within communities and support for independence. The four local authorities which returned a vote in favour of independence are the four with the highest levels of deprivation.
Over the last five years, Scotland’s Poverty Truth Commission has brought together those living in ongoing poverty with some of Scotland’s leading civic and political leaders. The Commission is non-partisan but it is clear on one thing: poverty will never begin to be adequately addressed until those who suffer most directly from its impact are recognised as germane to its resolution. Our most recent report, Turning Up the Volume on Poverty was published in June.
As you embark on the journey of helping to deliver the change that Scotland has demanded, I would invite you and your colleagues to meet with the Commission. It is one small, but significant, way in which your plans will be informed by the issue that really divides our nation – the growing disparity between rich and poor.
Secretary, Scotland’s Poverty Truth Commission