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Latest reports on inequality in Scotland must lead to action

Posted by Jamie Livingstone Head of Oxfam Scotland

26th Mar 2015

Scotland inequality

Oxfam Scotland's response to the Scottish Government's latest Wealth and Assets Survey 2006-2012, published alongside the Public Attitudes to Poverty, Inequality and Welfare in Scotland and Britain research.

These figures are yet more evidence of the extreme and worrying levels of economic inequality in Scotland today.

The fact that the wealthiest 10 per cent of households in Scotland own twenty times more wealth than the least wealthy 30 per cent is astonishing.

Such inequality in Scotland exists alongside scandalous levels of poverty with the most recent figures showing that 820,000 people are living in poverty in Scotland.

Oxfam cares about extreme inequality, in Scotland and around the world, because it is hampering the fight against poverty and is bad for everyone - rich and poor.

Our recent research shows that at a global level, on current trends, the richest 1 per cent will own the same wealth as the rest of the world's population put together by 2016.

We know such inequality is not inevitable - it is the result of policy choices.

We can therefore take heart from the fact that 83 per cent of people in Scotland think the gap between the wealthiest and poorest people in our country is too high.

The growing political consensus on this issue in Scotland is also encouraging but all parties must now work together to put in place measures to reduce inequality.

Not only is this the morally right thing to do, it is also the economically smart move.

The Scottish Government's Wealth and Assets Survey 2006-2012 can be accessed here:https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/2333

The Scottish Government's research on Public Attitudes to Poverty, Inequality and Welfare in Scotland and Britain can be accessed here: https://www.gov.scot/Publications/2015/03/2695

Oxfam's Even It Up report on inequality is here: https://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/even-it-up-time-to-end-extreme-inequality-333012

Blog post written by Jamie Livingstone

Head of Oxfam Scotland

More by Jamie Livingstone