Edinburgh vows to ‘end poverty’ in the next decade

The city council hopes to reach the target by 2030 through seven areas of action.

Edinburgh has become the first city to set a date for eradicating poverty.

The city council hopes to reach the target in the capital within the next ten years.

It follows the publication of a report which suggested seven areas of action, including in housing and equality, needed to tackle the problem.

The report, released last week, was published by the Edinburgh Poverty Commission who challenged the council to reach the goal by 2030.

The local authority has now committed to working with partners, including citizen action group End Poverty Edinburgh, to take on the challenge and make it a reality.

The commission has set out for main targets to be prioritised that will define if the project has been a success.

The four targets, which it is hoped will be reached in the decade, are:

  • No-one in Edinburgh needs to go without basic essentials they need to eat, keep clean, stay warm and dry.
  • Fewer than one in ten people are living in relative poverty in Edinburgh at any given time.
  • No-one in Edinburgh lives in persistent poverty.
  • No-one in Edinburgh experiences stigma due to their income.

And the seven areas of action that the commission believes it needs to provide in the city to make this a reality are.

  • The right support in the places people work and live.
  • Fair work that provides dignity and security.
  • A decent home people can afford to live in.
  • Income security that provides a real safety net.
  • Opportunities that boost prospects.
  • Connections in a city that belongs to its citizens.
  • Equality in health and wellbeing

Adam McVey, Edinburgh City Council leader said: “Tackling poverty in Edinburgh is one of our key priorities as a Council – enabling everyone in our City to take advantage of everything the Capital has to offer.

“We have already made significant resources available for people and are working hard to eradicate poverty in our city.

“Now we’re doubling down, taking on the research and recommendations from the Commission to guide us as we work towards our goal of ending poverty in the Capital within the next ten years.

“We know that this will not be an easy task, but Edinburgh is a city of wealth and enormous talent and we’re determined to work with the Scottish and UK Governments, citywide partners– and of course, our residents – to drive the change that is so greatly needed.”

And Cammy Day, depute council leader and depute chair of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission, said: “We’re in no doubt that this is an ambitious target and it is one that we need the whole city to embrace as well as support from Scottish and UK Governments to achieve.

“Poverty can impact any one of us at any time, and we need to take a Team Edinburgh approach to tackle it, where organisations, communities and residents work together to end poverty in Edinburgh by 2030.

“We know that, while the pandemic has certainly escalated the situation, this is a crisis that requires urgent attention and I’m heartened by the endorsement that the Commission’s report received today.

“Again, I would like to thank all of those in the Edinburgh Poverty Commission and End Poverty Edinburgh, as well as every person who took the time to give us their thoughts or tell us their own stories, for the incredible work that has been done to date.”

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