Scotland: First Minister appoints poverty adviser


The Scottish Government’s efforts to reduce poverty and tackle inequality in Scotland will be guided by a new adviser, appointed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Naomi Eisenstadt, an expert in the impact poverty has on children, will become the First Minister’s independent adviser on poverty and inequality, recommending actions needed and looking at what the Scottish Government does about poverty and inequality.

Ms Eisenstadt, a senior research fellow at the University of Oxford and trustee of Save the Children, will also help to lead discussions on addressing poverty in Scotland, raise awareness of the realities of living in poverty and report to Scottish ministers on how to ease the problem across the country.

Comment from Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Scotland is a wealthy country – but around one in six people are currently living in poverty. That is completely unacceptable.

“We are seeing some progress in reducing inequality but not nearly enough. And with £12 billion of annual welfare cuts due to be announced in the UK Government’s Emergency Budget, making an impact is likely to be even more challenging.

“My main priority IS making sure that everyone has the chance to get on in life, regardless of where they are from. The scrutiny and input of an independent expert will help to make sure – and provide assurance to the public - that we are doing absolutely all we can to make Scotland a more equal society.”

Comment from Naomi Eisenstadt, Poverty Adviser to Nicola Sturgeon

Naomi Eisenstadt said:

“This is a critical role and a tremendous opportunity to help make good things happen.

“While I am tremendously supportive of what the Scottish Government is trying to do, my role will be to scrutinise the detail and provide hard challenge when necessary. I am here to give my honest views about the whether the policies in place will help to reduce poverty and inequality in Scotland.

“I plan to hold Ministers to account and challenge everyone to come up with and new and innovative ways to tackle deep seated poverty.”

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