OPINION – We can't afford to ease fight on poverty

DEFINITIONS may change, and statistics used to argue whether poverty is increasing or decreasing, but it makes little difference to those who experience hardship on a daily basis.

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The claims by Professor John McKendrick that poverty affects one in three children in Glasgow is one which should make those in authority sit up and take notice.

Many initiatives are ongoing to alleviate child poverty and every level of government claims it is a priority and is keen to show it is taking action.

There are many reasons for poverty, including education, poor health and unemployment, and they are all linked, producing a cycle of deprivation which many families and communities find hard to break.

Cuts to council services and the welfare changes will do nothing to help combat poverty and for many will have the opposite effect and make a bad situation worse.

The professor's suggestion that child poverty should be considered when decisions to cut budgets are being taken is something which should be happening now.

To make it a legal requirement might give the problem a sharper focus at a community level where the impact is felt.

Poverty is an issue that demands more attention not less in times of economic difficulty.


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