Prominent blogger and campaigner Jack Monroe was in Edinburgh today to speak at the first annual public meeting of Scotland’s Poverty and Inequality Commission.
The author of blog and cookbook A Girl Called Jack joined other speakers to address an audience which included people with lived experience of poverty and inequality, frontline workers, campaigners, policy makers and members of the public.
The purpose of the event was to help the Commission identify priorities for the next stage in its work and to hear from attendees about which focus they think would make the biggest difference to those who are locked in a daily struggle to make ends meet.
Along with a talk by Jack on household expenditure, the speakers were Elaine Downie and Jackie Stockdale from the Poverty Truth Commission who gave a presentation on household income and Torsten Bell, Director of the Resolution Foundation who spoke about wealth inequalities.
Of her visit Jack said:
“Poverty continues to be a scourge on some of the most vulnerable in our society, and although Scotland are leading the charge against it with from-birth equality initiatives like baby boxes, there is still a lot of work to be done – firstly in treating the symptoms of poverty like homelessness, food bank use, cold homes, poverty premiums and mental and physical health problems. And also by treating the cause; structural inequality, identifying postcode lottery areas and what investment in services is required, fair wages, ending tolerance for those who exploit zero hour or apprentice contracts, early years care and more.
“The Poverty and Inequality commission are committed to listening to people who have experienced poverty in order to understand their needs and communicate them back to the Government, and I look forward to working with them more in the future as we all work to eradicate poverty, together.”
Chairman of the Poverty and Inequalities Commission Douglas Hamilton said:
“Today’s meeting has highlighted some of the biggest issues that people living with poverty and inequality live with every day.
“It is so important that the Commission continues to consult people with first-hand experience and to learn from the different accounts; from the precarious nature of family finances and the difficulties people face when incomes are very low to the impact of low wages and zero hours contracts, which lock people into poverty.”
“As a country we believe in compassion and justice. We can make changes so that our economy and our systems work for everyone, but there is still a lot of work to do. The Commission will continue to work hard to suggest remedies and give best advice to The Scottish Government on how to loosen the grip of poverty in Scotland.”
About the Poverty and Inequality Commission
The Commission is independent of the Scottish Government. It provides independent advice to ministers and has a strong scrutiny role in monitoring progress towards tackling poverty and inequality.
It has an advocacy role to help bring about real reductions in poverty and inequality in Scotland.
In February, the Commission published its first report, Advice on the Scottish Government’s Child Poverty Delivery Plan 2018.
Chair: Douglas Hamilton
- Naomi Eisenstadt
- Kaliani Lyle
- David Eiser
- Hugh Foy
- Caroline Kennedy
- Katie Schmuecker
- Sally Witcher
For more information or to request an interview please contact Richard Holligan on 0131 225 7700 or rholligan@3×1.com