It’s inconceivable people in modern Scotland are living on less than a fiver day – Daily Record

It will seem inconceivable to many in Scotland that there are people struggling in our country on less than a fiver a day.

A shocking report from the Trussell Trust found an average childless couple using its food banks was left with only £248 a month after housing costs.

That is simply not enough for people to afford the basics like energy bills, food and toiletries such as soap and sanitary products.

In a modern Britain where many enjoy obscene wealth, such levels of ­destitution are completely unacceptable.

It would be easy to blame this blight on the pandemic but we have always had intolerable levels of poverty.

More than a decade of Tory austerity has compounded the already existing disparity between rich and poor, forcing people to live on benefits which are not enough to make ends meet.

The flawed delivery of Universal Credit has seen people expected to live on thin air as they wait five weeks for payments.

It is inhuman to subject those on ­benefits to such callousness.

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The ranks of the working poor have expanded throughout the pandemic, with staff losing their jobs in the hardest hit industries like hospitality.

For many who rely on tips to make up exploitative wages, furlough has not been enough to stop them sliding into poverty.

Poverty will rise even further as furlough ends and unemployment increases.

But it is not good enough to blame this scourge solely on Westminster.

Scotland’s politicians must do more and act on their pre-election pledges to eradicate poverty from this wealthy country of ours.

Kids being failed

The prospect of Scotland ­“sleepwalking” towards another exam fiasco will horrify parents and school pupils.

Exams have been cancelled for a second year as a result of lockdown, with youngsters forced into extended periods of learning from home.

But an alternative system of ­assessments are exams in all but name.

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Last year’s discriminatory postcode lottery saw children from less wealthy areas become victims of a flawed appeals process.

Education Secretary John Swinney was forced to apologise for the exams disaster which was devastating for those affected.

He admitted the Scottish Government “did not get it right for every young person” but apologies alone are not good enough.

The Government must get it right for all pupils this year. Scotland’s youngsters must not be failed again.

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