A new IPPR Scotland report published today, ‘Weathering the Winter Storm‘, paints a bleak picture of the financial hit people have taken from the pandemic crisis. Almost half of all workers in Scotland (45 per cent) have suffered a fall in income since April, while the number of households behind on bills has risen from […]

Where is the plan to address Scotland’s personal finances’ crisis?


Tory attempts to justify opposition to free school meals over the holidays are becoming increasingly desperate, and have a shrinking audience among the public. “Not destroying the currency with excessive QE is also one of our duties,” backbench Tory MP Steve Baker barked on Twitter at Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, who successfully led a […]

Analysis: QE, Rashford and the new Tory milk snatchers


There are two stories about austerity in the news this morning. First, NSPCC Scotland and Barnardo’s have published new research on the impact of austerity on families, looking at what’s changed since it last studied this issue in 2013. The report finds that poverty remains the core issue, but that there has been a marked increase in […]

Big in Japan: Why high public debt is not so scary


Around one million Scots were in poverty before the covid-19 crisis, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s new Poverty in Scotland 2020 report finds. That breaks down as 230,000 children, 640,000 working age adults, and 150,000 pensioners. These numbers have been rising over the past five years, especially child poverty, which is up to 24 per cent, almost one […]

Scotland is going backwards on poverty


The Scottish Household Survey has just been published. This data provides the most detailed account of the demographic make-up of Scotland’s communities, and how it has changed over time. It also provides information on people’s views and beliefs on a number of issues, from climate change to religious belonging. Here, we will focus on what the […]

Scotland’s communities: divided by money



Two stories today illuminate the absurdity of modern-day capitalism, where inequality is so profound that the economy appears broken in two, orbiting in completely different realities from one another. On the one hand, food bank usage in Scotland has more than doubled since the pandemic, up 108 per cent on the year previously according to […]

When the Ayn Rand dystopia becomes real



One thing I’ve learnt from this crisis is that you have to be careful to avoid being seduced by what appears to be a consensus of the need for systemic change. In the most dramatic moments of the pandemic, you couldn’t pay for someone to criticise key workers. They were lauded by every bad boss, […]

So when is change coming for social care workers?


The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s ‘A stronger Scottish lifeline in the economic storm’, a briefing paper published yesterday, is a good starting point for debate about what needs to be in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government in September to stave off the most devastating economic impacts of the crisis in the immediate term. Jobs: 628,000 workers have […]

A stronger Scottish lifeline?