Press Release, 23 October 2012

24,000 Scottish Families face severe disadvantage

Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil has expressed his alarm that 24,000 families across Scotland face severe disadvantage.

A new report by the think-tank Demos, commissioned by Scottish charity Quarriers, conducted regional analysis of 28,000 households across Scotland, looking at seven disadvantages, including low income, worklessness, no qualifications and ill health.

The report found that 41% of families in Renfrewshire and Inverclyde had 1 to 3 disadvantages and 3% had 4 or more disadvantages which is considered as severely disadvantaged.

The research also found that Unmarried households with children are six times more likely to be severely disadvantaged than married households (with 8.5% of unmarried households with children facing four or more disadvantages versus 1.4% of married households) 15% of families with children are workless, compared with 24% of working age households without children.

Commenting Mr McNeil said:

“I was alarmed to learn 24,000 families face severe disadvantage. This Demos report provides a valuable insight into the struggles thousands of families across Scotland face on a daily basis coping with poverty, worklessness and poor health.

“I have submitted a motion in Parliament promoting this report as more work has to be done to tackle this issue. I look forward to working with Quarriers to find effective ways to work with families facing a complex set of problems at a time of dwindling public resources.”