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Wed Dec 14| News Policy & Research

It Is Not A Choice! Report Published


On the eve of the Scottish Budget 2023/24, includem, a Scottish charity, publishes their latest report – It Is Not a Choice! – which finds that poverty remains the biggest obstacle to implementing children’s rights in Scotland.

The report – a follow up to the charity’s Poverty and the Impact of Covid-19 which was published at the height of the Coronavirus pandemic in 2020– looks at the current impact of the cost-of-living crisis on families the charity supports across Scotland. It highlights that the situation for families the charity supports has significantly worsened, breaching children and young people’s fundamental rights.

Includem’s research found that:

  • 94% of the families who took part in the research have experienced worsening finances, with many having to take on new, or further debt to keep their head above water.

 Other key findings include:

  • 71% of the families supported by includem reported they were struggling to meet the costs of two or more essentials (energy, goods, food or rent), ‘half the time’, ‘usually’ or ‘always’.
  • 73% of families said they were struggling to meet the costs of two or more basics (transport, school costs, child related costs, socialising and the internet).

Commenting on the publication of the report, Martin Dorchester, Chief Executive of includem said:

Across the country, includem supports families who are at a greater risk of not having their rights being realised. The biggest breach of these rights that we see day after day is poverty.

 “The stark reality is that for these families, this is not a crisis. It is a calamity.

 “Today, we’re sounding the alarm on an impending wellbeing crisis, a crisis which will scar the lives of Scotland’s children, young people and families for decades to come and call for a radically different approach by decision makers at all levels to deliver for the wellbeing of the people of Scotland.”

 One family told includem that:

I am on my knees trying to provide for my family!”

Click here to read the report

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