Scotland – and the UK as a whole – is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. The question is why doesn’t it feel that way?
And under the Tories, the gap between rich and poor is expected to grow further. And, when Theresa May was Home Secretary she blocked a requirement on the government to report on the impact of their policies on poverty and inequality.
The Tories don’t want to talk about inequality. Here’s why.
1. Inequality is set to rise at its fastest rate since the 1980s – reaching record highs by 2020-21.
According to the Resolution Foundation, the UK will see the biggest rise in the gap between rich and poor since the 1980s.
2. The Tories at Westminster are cutting billions from Scotland’s budget – and the Scottish Tories want to cut it further to give tax cuts to the rich.
In the ten years to 2019-20, the Scottish Government’s day-to-day spending will have been cut by £2.9 billion in real terms. And the Scottish Tory manifesto confirms that they would cut public services in Scotland further to give tax cuts to the highest earners.
3. The number of children in relative poverty across the UK is expected to rise to over 5 million by 2021-22.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that an additional 1.2 million children across the UK will be living in relative poverty in 2021-22 compared to 2014-15.
4. The number of children using food banks has increased by almost 2,500 per cent under the Tories.
According to figures from the Trussell Trust, 46,094 children had to use food banks in Scotland in 2016-17 – that’s an increase of 2,477 per cent compared to 2011-12. Overall, the 140,139 food parcels were issued by Trussell Trust in the last year.
5. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, planned Tory welfare cuts will make 3 million working households with children £2,500 a year worse off on average.
The Tories at Westminster are implementing cuts to tax credits, a freeze on benefit rates and are continuing the disastrous roll-out of Universal Credit. Taken together, these policies will significantly reduce the incomes of working families – and push them closer to poverty.