By Bill Heaney

Anas Sarwar has accused the SNP of “failing Scottish workers” as working age poverty in Scotland soars at the fastest rate in the UK.

This intervention comes ahead of his speech at STUC conference, in which he will take aim at both SNP and Tory government for their failure to protect workers’ rights, increase wages or grow our economy.

Across the UK the number of working age people in poverty increased by 3 per cent between 2010-13 and 2019-22 – but in Scotland it rose seven times faster, at a staggering 21 per cent.

This shameful increase is the highest of any region or nation in the UK and has pushed an additional 124,495 working age people into poverty.

Labour said this increase is the result of SNP’s industrial strategy of “managed decline”, which has seen wages in Scotland grow at a slower rate than any UK nation.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said:  “More than a decade of this disastrous SNP government has left our economy in tatters and left workers out of pocket.

“These soaring levels of working age poverty show that they have not only passed on the damage inflicted by this Tory government but multiplied it.

“Their industrial strategy of empty rhetoric and managed decline is failing Scottish workers.

“Scotland deserves better than these two economically illiterate governments riding roughshod over workers’ interests.

“Only Labour can provide the change Scotland needs and deliver a new deal for working people right across the country.”

Working age poverty by region:

Nation/region In relative poverty  (AHC)*, 2010-13 (Annual Average) In relative poverty (AHC)*, 2019-2022

(Annual Average)

Change (Number) Change (%)
North East 337,878 379,584 41,706 12%
North West 922,692 857,716 -64,976 -7%
Yorkshire and The Humber 702,089 710,827 8,738 1%
East Midlands 538,553 605,951 67,398 13%
West Midlands 741,166 883,361 142,195 19%
East 576,839 594,451 17,612 3%
London 1,395,931 1,298,252 -97,679 -7%
South East 877,353 910,100 32,747 4%
South West 575,977 597,277 21,300 4%
Wales 415,841 379,663 -36,179 -9%
Scotland 589,140 713,635 124,495 21%
Total 7,673,459 7,930,816 257,357 3%

Labour analysis, using DWP StatXplore, of DWP Statistics on Households below Average Income, 23 March 2023,

* Poverty here is defined as relative poverty after housing costs.

One comment

  1. Now we all know that the SNP has it’s eye off the ball and is not delivering.

    But to suggest that Scotland’s economic decline is all down to the SNP is just nonsense. Brexit, and the Tories neo conservative policies are the root cause of Scotland’s plight.

    Take wind energy. What benefit does Scotland get. All the wind farms are owned by international corporate businesses making billions. The wind farms are all built using foreign components. Jackets from Dubai and China. Blades from Denmark. Turbine generators from Germany. Even the labour deployed to build these offshore wind farms is foreign due to the UK government granting special dispensation to allow foreigners to be used in lieu of Scottish or UK workers.

    Locally there is a proposal to build a windfarm above Bonhill. And who is the developer – not Scottish do I hear you say. Well that’s right its the Electricity Supply Board of the Republic of Ireland.

    But who cares. Scotland goes cold whilst like wheat and other crops in the 19th century Irish Famine, the power and profits get exported out of the country whilst the people go without.

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