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Close to one million people living in Scotland are classified as living in poverty. Every fifth person in our country is poor. Almost five-hundred thousand are living in conditions described officially as serious or severe poverty, unable to afford the very basics such as food and clothing. That is every tenth Scot who is struggling to eat every day and feed their children. More than 280,000 of Scotland’s poorest people are children. In 2013 it was estimated that half a million people in Scotland were relying on foodbanks, with the Trussell Trust in 2015 reporting that 10,500 were depending on its foodbanks – the highest number in the history of the charity in Scotland, and over half of all Scottish adults in poverty are employed. Something is clearly wrong.

In 1979 when Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, and when the liberalisation of the British economy first began, a…

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