GCU authors highlight poverty as referendum approaches

13 March 2014

The book cover

The book cover

Academics from GCU’s Glasgow School for Business and Society have contributed to a new book which seeks to place the issue of poverty at the heart of the referendum debate.

Dr John McKendrick, Emeritus Professor Gill Scott, Dr Stephen Sinclair and Dr Angela O’Hagan have contributed to the book ‘Poverty in Scotland 2014’, which brings together the latest facts on the extent of poverty in Scotland and the implications for the country’s constitutional future. 

The book, which was published at an event in Edinburgh on Thursday, March 13, includes a range of experts, who set out principles for a fairer Scotland, whatever the outcome of the referendum.

The book is the result of collaboration between the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG), the Open University, GCU and the Poverty Alliance.

The book warns that 100,000 more children risk being pushed into poverty by 2020 by current austerity measures. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Shadow Social Justice Secretary Jackie Baillie both attended a debate to mark the launch of the book.

John McKendrick, a lead editor, author and Senior Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University, said:

“There is overwhelming evidence of poverty in contemporary Scotland and all projections point toward more, and more intensive, poverty in the years' ahead.  

“It's too easy to make the mistake of blaming poverty on austerity, the economy and the need to reduce the budget deficit.   Scotland, and the UK, need to remain steadfast in its commitment to making the difficult decisions that work toward, rather than undermine, the eradication of child poverty.”

Gill Scott, Professor Emeritus at GCU, and a ‘Poverty in Scotland 2014’ editor said the discussion around the book focuses on how other regions and nations have sought to tackle poverty within a variety of constitutional settlements and demands for autonomy.

“It is not just Scotland where the potential for a better welfare settlement accompanies demands for greater sovereignty. The experience in other countries reminds us that if welfare provision is not prioritized the promise of a ‘different’ Scotland will be an empty one for many.”