SCVO media release
26 February 2015

Ditch rhetoric on social justice & focus on treating the causes not just the symptoms of poverty

Hundreds of charity leaders from across Scotland will question Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities & Pensioners’ Rights today (26 February), on how the Scottish Government is going to move beyond the narrow confines of government to deliver on its promise to create a more socially just Scotland.

Jim Murphy, Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, will also answer questions on how his party would make Scotland a fairer place.

Later in the afternoon, John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister, will set out his ideas on how we can use the economy to reduce poverty.

The meetings are taking place as part of The Gathering, a two-day event at the SECC, Glasgow, organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO).

Martin Sime, Chief Executive, SCVO, said:

“Our politicians can’t just keep making all the right noises about healing the scars of poverty and inequality in Scotland. It’s time for a lot more action.

“A good starting point would be thinking more realistically about what government can and can’t achieve, and being more ambitious about how politicians work with wider society to give people real power to make decisions about the things that affect their lives. This will help us to build stronger communities and support more people to help themselves and others – not to replace public services but to augment them.

“If the Scottish Government is serious about driving out poverty and putting social justice at the heart of its work, it also needs to completely rethink its approach to investing in the third and private sectors, local authorities and public bodies.

“We need to see a more strategic and longer term approach to funding which treats the causes not just the symptoms of poverty, health inequality and low attainment and which treats charities as equal partners in delivering public services that help to make Scotland a fairer place for everyone to live.”


  1. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland’s charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. The Scottish third sector turns over £4.5 billion a year and employs 138,000 people in over 45,000 organisations.
  2. Find full details about the Gathering, including events listings
  3. For interviews/further comment, please contact Charlotte McNeill, Press Officer at SCVO, on 0779 060 1995