WORK is not the route out of poverty that many continue to claim
that it is, the secretary of the Poverty Truth Commission, Martin
Johnstone, says. The Commission will present the findings of its
two-year investigation into poverty in Scotland, and a targeted
list of practical solutions, to an audience of 450 in Glasgow
Its report, backed by the Church of Scotland, and Faith in
Community Scotland, will demand an end to the poor employment
practices which are trapping many working people in Scotland on
very low wages. "Work which is low- paid, inflexible, and where
people don't know how many hours they are working from day to day
does not help people live more fulfilled lives," Mr Johnstone said.
"Too often, we are finding it is having the opposite effect.
Through our work with the Poverty Truth Commission, we have
regularly come across people who want to work, but cannot find any,
alongside others who are required to work such long hours that they
have little or no time to spend with their families."
The Commission will be recommending an end to unjust,
"zero-hour" contracts, the further implementation of the living
wage, and the development of a good employers' charter.
The problems are highlighted in a new study from the Joseph
Rowntree Foundation, which suggests that the predicted rise in the
number of Scots in employment will not lead to a corresponding
reduction in those suffering poverty. One in seven working-age
adults and children could still be living in poverty by the
mid-2020s, the study said. Its findings have been set out in the
third and final referendum briefing from the New Policy
The head of the Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, John
Dickie, said: "This report makes it clear that increased employment
is . . . not enough to end the shocking level of poverty that
blights the lives of too many children [in] Scotland."