Published in February 2014, and launched at the Open University in Scotland where Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Spoke to the themes of the book, Poverty in Scotland 2014 looks, as the subtitle suggests, to the September 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum and the different constitutional futures that were then facing the people of Scotland.
A central theme of the book is the interconnections between the issues of constitutional changes, namely further devolution – of varying levels – with Scotland staying within the UK, of full Scottish independence, and questions and issues of poverty and inequality in contemporary Scotland. The overall book does not take sides on the Independence question, but contains contributions from authors who represent different perspectives on Scotland’s constitutional future. All the contributors, however, share a commitment to challenging poverty and to the creation of a fairer and socially just Scottish society within which poverty is effectively addressed.
Poverty in Scotland 2014 builds on earlier editions of the series. It provides a picture of the overall context around poverty and disadvantage in Scotland, and the role and impact of policies from the Scottish and UK Governments. The primary difference with the earlier editions is the focus on the ways in which issues around poverty – and social welfare and social justice more generally – came to be entwined with the constitutional debate and the competing arguments around Scotland’s future.
Since the September 2014 Referendum, which returned a majority NO vote, these issues of social welfare, and arguments around the devolution of welfare and tax powers, have remained central in the debate that has unfolded.
Download the PDF from the Open University Website.