The Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) project‘s first report ‘The Impoverishment of the UK’ revealed a grim picture of the levels and extent of deprivation in the UK. In a A ‘Tonight’ special, on ITV1 “Breadline Britain” (available on the ITV player or ‘Watch again’ on your TV) these first results were made public around the UK.
Although Scotland does slightly better than the UK average, poverty in Scotland is the worst it has been in 30 years.
Commenting on the trends, Professor Glen Bramley said:
“The situation is already serious but it is set to get worse as benefit levels fall in real terms, as real wages continue a three-year decline and as living standards are further squeezed. The decline in living standards and the high level of financial insecurity pose an enormous challenge for both the Scottish and Westminster Governments.”
PSE statistics showed that one person in 14 in Scotland lives in a house that is damp and one in 12 cannot afford to heat the living areas of their home. It also showed 7% of adults lack at least either fresh fruit and vegetables every day or meat, fish or a vegetarian equivalent every other day and 3% of families contain children in that situation.
Over the last few days, a number of media have reported on Scotland’s impoverishment
In an interview with Dr Nick Bailey, A PSE team member from Glasgow University, on Radio Scotland ‘Good morning Scotland’ programme explains the method by which the PSE measures poverty, and discusses why standards in Scotland as well as the rest of the UK are sliding backwards so quickly. (Starting from 1:13, you can listen to the full interview here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01r9tts)
A major feature on page five of the Herald presents statistics, as well as a case study of life in poverty in Scotland.
Although this article is only available to subscribers, a shorter article on the PSE research from the same issue is available.
Similar reports from the Scotsman, which reported: “Poverty Survey Paints Bleak Picture of Life in the UK“, including a number of the PSE’s headline statistics.
The Daily mail has reported on the research findings for Scotland, emphasizing the financial difficulties poor households may face when they are unable to save for unforeseen problems. However, their discussion is wrapped in another article criticizing public sector pensions, which seems somewhat contradictory.
The Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) Project is is the largest and most authoritative study of poverty and deprivation ever conducted in the UK. Within the research team, Glen Bramley and Kirsten Besemer are particularly responsible for analysing results which relate to local services, housing, neighbourhood, education and financial inclusion, and the way poverty in Scotland differs from the rest of the UK.
You can follow the latest updates from the PSE team on Twitter:
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