Alleviating Poverty in Scotland Requires Investment in Local Government
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Alleviating Poverty in Scotland requires investment in Local Government COSLA said today (Monday).

Commenting ahead of the Scottish Budget announcement tomorrow, Councillor Tony Buchanan, COSLA’s Children and Young People Spokesperson said: “If Scotland is to make progress towards alleviating and eradicating poverty, this year’s Scottish Budget must focus on tackling the root causes, with a greater prioritisation of local prevention and early-intervention work – and Councils are key to this.

“This means investment in the essential social supports provided everyday by Councils, in schools, in local community hubs, at the right place, at the right time.

“If the core services aimed at supporting and empowering people to reach their full potential are eroded, as they have been over the last few years as a result of cuts to our core Budgets, then tackling poverty in Scotland will continue to be a significant challenge.

“Action to address poverty and deprivation was noted as a key priority for Scotland in the concluding report on children's services reform research published by CELCIS last week and reinforces the importance of the shared priority within the Verity House Agreement.

“For too long now, the financial settlement for Local Government has meant that Councils have had to cut spend to services which are needed to tackle poverty – whether they are youth work, social work support or breakfast clubs

This year’s Budget presents the opportunity to reverse this trend, to invest in communities and realise our ambitions to tackle poverty in Scotland.

“Without a fair settlement for Councils in tomorrow’s Budget, the poverty gap in Scotland will continue to grow.

“Investing in Local Government is key to a fairer Scotland.”


  • Over 1 million people are living in relative poverty in Scotland
  • 69% of children living in poverty are in households where someone works
  • It has been proven that Poverty can lead to negative health outcomes such as increased likelihood of substance misuse, mental health disorders and reduced life expectancy
  • A third of the prison population coming from the 10% most deprived areas in Scotland. Councils work with those that have offended by providing social work support, supervision and promoting reintegration back into the community.