Commonwealth War Graves Week

Call for action over shocking deprivation figures

I am calling for action over the latest Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) figures published today by the Scottish Government.  These statistics are shocking. We must remember that they are not just statistics they represent lives which are blighted by poverty.  It is disappointing to see the Scottish Government describe Dundee as having a 'relatively high level of deprivation.'  We must do all that we can to deal with these problems. In Dundee 38% of the population live in areas which are classed as being within the 20% of the most deprived areas in Scotland.

I know that many people are working hard to alleviate poverty in Dundee.  These figures should send a stark message that more needs to be done.  We cannot just accept this as a fact of life we need to use all the powers available to the City Council, to the Scottish Government and to the UK Government to have as our aim the eradication of poverty.  I want to look at what needs to be done to update our anti-poverty strategies and find ways to make a real difference.

We must also accept that the SIMD is only one measure of poverty.  Over half of the people on low incomes in Scotland do not live in the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland.

We must be focused on the eradication of poverty and of dealing with consequences of poverty.  I want the council to take concerted action to make this happen.  Our priorities should be the eradication of poverty, the creation of jobs and improving educational attainment for our young people.