What Causes Poverty?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Government at every level – local, national and UK – has a key role to play in tackling poverty in Scotland. Both the UK and Scottish governments have made firm commitments to tackle child poverty and policy interventions have helped reduce, but not yet eradicate, child poverty in Scotland. The reasons for poverty are complex and multi-faceted. The primary poverty-generating mechanisms are social, economic and political. Tackling poverty requires a sustained and long-term comprehensive strategy, rather than a quick-fix single-issue intervention. The way in which poverty-inducing factors take effect is complicated. It is overly simplistic to both reduce poverty to a single cause and to ignore the intervening factors that policy solutions need to take into account. Until recently, a growing economy had contributed to reductions in the level of absolute (low-income) poverty in Scotland. However, a much more ambitious and focused anti-poverty strategy is needed if poverty in Scotland is to be reduced on all key measures in the years ahead.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPoverty in Scotland 2011
Subtitle of host publicationTowards a More Equal Scotland
EditorsJohn H. McKendrick, Gerry Mooney, Peter Kelly, John Dickie
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages15
Edition6th Revised
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • poverty
  • Scotland
  • social welfare
  • welfare policy


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