A quarter of Scots say poverty is caused by laziness

Cyrenians newA new poll published by a Scottish charity seeking to challenge public perceptions of those in need has found that more than a quarter of Scots believe poverty is a result of laziness.

Commissioned by Cyrenians, the survey found that 28 per cent believed poverty was a result of laziness on the part of those living in poverty, while 24 per cent believed a lack of willpower was another contributory factor to people living in poverty.

The same study found that the majority of Scots think that unemployment (76 per cent), addiction (59 per cent) and family circumstances (56 per cent) are the main causes of poverty.

Scottish people believe early intervention and working with those most at risk, along with providing more jobs, are the best ways to reduce poverty, with only a tiny minority backing reductions in benefits.

The poll found that Scots believed providing jobs (59 per cent), working with families at risk of poverty (58 per cent), early intervention (53 per cent) and providing education (51 per cent) were the best ways the Government should help those living in poverty in Scotland; with only a tiny minority (6 per cent) believing cutting benefits would do so.

The poll was carried out as part of Cyrenians’ newly launched “Tell Your Story” campaign aimed at changing public perceptions of those living in poverty.

Chief executive, Ewan Aitken, said the charity wants to “challenge any perception amongst the public that those in poverty are only there through laziness or lack of willpower”.

He added: “Politicians, along with the rest of society, must stand-up and tackle the causes of poverty and change public perceptions. To do that we must work to prevent people from feeling excluded from family, home, work or the wider community. Through our own stories and those of people we support, as well as they services we provide, we can achieve that change.”


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