Who’s on Scotland’s nice list this Christmas?
Following a year of ups and downs in the fight against poverty, anti-poverty campaigners have published naughty and nice lists ahead of Christmas. Those on the nice list have taken significant steps to tackle poverty in Scotland this year, while those on the naughty list have some way to go before they receive a gift from Santa.
The nice list
- The Scottish Parliament – in 2017 the Scottish Parliament passed the Child Poverty Act making Scotland the only part of the UK to have targets for the eradication of poverty.
- The 1000 accredited Living Wage employers in Scotland who have provided pay rises for over 25,000 people
- Stewart Paterson, journalist at the Evening Times, who has continuously reported on poverty in a way that is helpful and non-stigmatising
- The Joseph Rowntree Foundation for their role in changing the way we talk about poverty
- Alison Johnstone MSP for championing the Give Me Five campaign and keeping the top up at the heart of the debate around child poverty
- Douglas Hamilton, Chair of the Poverty and Inequality Commission, who has sought to ensure that the voices of people experiencing poverty are included at the highest level
The naughty list
- The UK government top this year’s naughty list for their decision to continue the benefit freeze meaning that around 700,000 families in Scotland will lose on average £450 per year
- Amazon – the retail giant are still not paying staff a Living Wage despite promising Ministers last year that they would consider it
- Channel 5 for continuing to make programmes stigmatising people on low incomes and contributing to poverty myths
Peter Kelly, director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “Poverty has continued to rise in Scotland over the past year but there have been areas of significant progress and the people on our ‘nice list’ are those who have contributed to that progress.
“We have seen a new Child Poverty Act with ambitious targets for the eradication of poverty, and over 1000 employers commit to paying their staff a Living Wage of at least £8.75 per hour.
“For those on the ‘naughty list’ there is still time to make a change. In 2018, we hope the UK Government will work to end the freeze on benefits and help millions of families across the UK.
“We hope Amazon will finally find a way to pay their staff the Living Wage, and we will continue to put pressure on them to do so.
“We all have a role to play in tackling poverty, and these lists are about recognising that role. Let 2018 be the year that everyone in Scotland finds themselves on the ‘nice list’.”