Poverty in Dundee : Tough and Unenviable Times

Phil Welsh

1 July 2013

Once again the stats are in and once again we are subject to the horrifying revelation that Dundee has a massive percentage of kids living in relative poverty.

On average 24% of our city’s children live well below the breadline which equates to one in four.

Reading these statistics is disturbing enough, however, we can only imagine how these kids who endure this hardship actually feel living under the hopelessness of poverty day in and day out.

And when we say poverty we mean kids going to school without a decent breakfast inside them, parents forced to choose between feeding themselves and feeding their kids and of course children denied the opportunity to take place in cultural, sporting and social activities due to their parents hand to mouth existence.

George Osborne and the rest of the elitist Tory led coalition are not just wreaking havoc on our public services through their `austerity` measures they are wreaking havoc on our welfare system; a system which was created as a lifeline for individuals who, for various reasons, are facing tough and unenviable times.

While the Tories and their Lib Dem puppets adhere to agendas which benefit the uber rich, draconian changes to the UK’s welfare system and the introduction of the destructive bedroom tax continue to push the country’s marginalized further and further into the poverty trap.

The current SNP administration in Holyrood possess the ability to alter current Scottish housing law which would in effect prevent evictions from occurring due to rent arrears incurred by the Tory Bedroom tax; the nationalists simply refuse to do so.

Nicola Sturgeon has publicly stated that her government will abolish the Bedroom tax, however, they will only commit to this action if a yes vote is returned in the 2014 independence referendum.

What sort of message does this send out, when individual political aspirations are placed firmly before the needs of desperate people?

2013 marks the centenary of the death of one of Dundee’s most important social reformers, Mary Lily Walker.

Walker’s work was of paramount importance in regard to social and healthcare reform in late Victorian Dundee.

A fitting tribute to this remarkable woman would be a continuation of her work in regard to the inequalities which existed in her day and continue to exist in contemporary Britain today.

We as a party must take the fight against poverty directly to the SNP and insist they act.

The SNP are more occupied with political romanticism than the damming policies which are being introduced by an unprincipled Tory led government; devastatingly harmful policies which are aimed at destroying the lives of the most vulnerable in Scottish society and their children.

The fight will continue.


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