While we’re all so interested in poverty:
Why is there no word of the numerous attempts, against the tide of Tory austerity ideology, by the Scottish Government to do something to make life a bit better for the most vulnerable?
The UN and researchers across the UK have:
In 2019, the United Nations report on ‘Workhouse Britain’ noted that Scotland was spending ‘£125 million per year to protect people from the worst impacts of austerity and unlike the UK Government provided funds for emergencies and hardships.‘
In 2017, researchers in Wales who studied how 7 ‘small countries’ – Wales, Scotland, New Zealand, Denmark, Quebec, Netherlands and Austria were ‘weathering the storm’ of increasing demand and reducing budgets, by developing a ‘golden thread’ linking more open government and participation in improving services. They wrote: A review of a small country’s approaches to public policy reform in response to economic, demographic and other pressures found that only in Scotland could this ‘golden thread’ be so clearly discerned
Just on trying to ensure the poor got a living income, here at the Scottish Government’s initiatives in the last few years:
- In 2013, the UK Government limited Housing Benefit and the housing element of Universal Credit for working-age council or housing association tenants if they were considered to be under-occupying their homes. This became known as the ‘bedroom tax’ and the Scottish Government fully mitigated it, spending £52 million per year. 
- Beginning only this month, the Scottish Child Payment means that low-income families with a child under six will be able to apply for £10 per child, per week – equivalent to £520 per year. There are no limits on the number of eligible children supported by Scottish Child Payment.
- Scotland has the highest proportion of employees being paid at least the real Living Wage of all four UK nations – 80.6%, ahead of England 77.1%, Wales 74.0% and NI 72.3% and the UK 77.2%.
- Scotland has the smallest gap between median pay for the disabled and non-disabled. This is not the result of median wages for the non-disabled in Scotland being particularly low as Scotland has the highest median pay outside of the South of England and London.
- Only Scotland and Wales pay the living wage to all NHS employees and Scotland was first to pay the living wage to all public-sector employees. Recent consultation on taxation suggests that this group will also be protected from any tax increases.
- Scottish care workers have been receiving the Living Wage of £8.45 per hour since October 2016 and will now [unlike in rUK] receive the same rate for all ‘sleepover hours worked. This will make a big difference to around 40 000 workers. Most are women.
- Also, in 2019, the funeral support payment was introduced meeting burial or cremation costs with a flat rate £700.