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Challenge Poverty Week 13-19 October

Challenge Poverty Week 13-19 October
What is Poverty?

Relative Poverty
This is where some people's low income means that they struggle to participate in ordinary economic, social and cultural activities.  In Scotland relative poverty is determined as those earning less than 60% of the antional average.  While not as extreme as absolute poverty, relative poverty is still serious and harmful.

Absolute Poverty
This is when people lack the basic necessities for survival.  In Scotland absolute poverty is deemed as earning less than 60% of what the average wage was in 1998/99.  This determines whether those who are on the lowest income have seen arise in what they take home in real terms over the last 10 years.

In-Work Poverty
The working poor are those individuals and families who maintain regular employment but remain in relative poverty due to low levels of pay and dependent expenses.  This group contains non-working househeld members such as children and non-working partners.

Persistent Poverty
This is defined as being in relative poverty in three out of the last four consecutive years.  This measure is desinged to detect people who are consistently in poverty over a long period, rather than those who dip in and out of poverty.

Fuel Poverty
The usual definition of fuel poverty is the need to spend 10% or more of your income to pay for fuel bills.  Therefore around 900,000 households in Scotland - more than one in three - are estimated to be in fuel poverty and unable to afford adequate warmth in the home.

Definitions of poverty from Third Force News.

Oxfam Scotland say

"At the moment the wealthiest households in Scotland are 273 times richer than the poorest.

There are 8 people on unemployment benefit for every full time vacancy advertised.

Only 22% of Scots feel like they can influence decisions in their local area.

Oxfam Scotland's Our Economy report is a blueprint for a new kind of economy that is the servant of the people and meets the needs of everyone in Scotland.

For too long, we have been obsessed with economic growth, without asking about the quality of that growth, and who benefits from it. That's led to massive and growing inequality.
We have a jobs crisis. There simply isn't enough employment for people. And it's not just about the number of jobs - it's about the quality of the work on offer. Too many people are working uncertain hours that make family life impossible. And too many are on low-wages, which mean that work is no longer a guaranteed route of poverty."

Taken from the Oxfam Scotland blog found at

Find the Oxfam's report "Our Economy:Towards a new prosperity" at the link


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