In a developed country like Scotland people should not be in a position where they are making a choice between heating or eating. The current benefits system fails to prevent poverty in this country and therefore demands reform. A Basic Income set higher than current benefit rates would reduce income poverty whilst a fairer tax system to fund it would reduce poverty and inequality and promote social and economic inclusion. In recent years the UK’s social security system has come to rely more and more on means-testing. Universal benefits are more likely to be claimed by those in the greatest need of them and the simpler entitlement conditions could act to reduce the delays and errors that leave our most vulnerable citizens relying on food banks (1).

(1) The Child Poverty Action Group, Church of England, Oxfam GB, and The Trussell Trust – Emergency Use Only: Understanding and reducing the use of food banks in the UK

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