Thursday, 26 March 2015

50:1 Poor

It's dry statistics, and stuff that we all know, but if you think about the women, children and families behind the numbers it is a horrible way to run a society.

It's Tuesday's report from the Scottish Government - Wealth and Assets in Scotland 2006-2012 - and it is packed with 59 pages of data. The sentence that stands out is:

"The least wealthy half of households owned less than 1% of financial wealth, less than 3% of pension wealth, 6% of property wealth, and 20% of physical wealth."

Yes, you read that right. The least wealthy HALF. 50% of the people of Scotland hold 1% of financial wealth. Half of the population have virtually nothing saved in the bank. Half of the people of Scotland hold just 6% of property wealth. Most of that half are working, most live in houses...and those houses are right at the bottom of the ladder. Half. So the person sitting next to you on the 94 bus is likely to be in that half. So is the woman behind the counter in WH Smiths. And the guy who cleans your office. And the bus driver, her husband and kids. This issue is an epidemic. Not just a question of a few folk at the top and the bottom of the pile. Half the folk in the pile.

And Westminster knows this. And yet its policies keep on squeezing the poor.

It is immoral, stupid, and expensive. 

Time, past time, for Scotland to show the world that another model is possible. That redistribution of wealth is possible (just as possible in Scotland as it is in Scandinavia). That the neoliberalism, the neo-Thatcherism of the three old political parties has to be stopped.

Time for Scotland to care for the people of Scotland.

No comments:

Post a Comment