Tackling Poverty and Preventing Crisis

Tackling poverty & preventing crisis

While poverty is about people not having the income needed to thrive in their lives, in practice this also drives a range of related issues which, in themselves, can perpetuate the poverty cycle. Lack of funds, difficulties in accessing services, and other issues can lead to crisis, where people need short-term help. However, solutions need to take a longer term, preventative approach.

This means:

Current position

Poverty appeared to be already increasing in Fife before the Covid-19 pandemic occurred, and its impact is likely to increase poverty levels further. Issues related to poverty are long term and areas of deprivation are closely associated with former mining communities. The mid-Fife area is particularly affected, but not exclusively so, and it is not always easy to clearly define geographic boundaries due to the fact that in-work poverty, debt and fuel poverty are not restricted to traditionally defined deprived communities. We have estimated that most of our effort to address poverty in Fife is directed at dealing with crisis, which could have been prevented. Easier access to, and better design of, services could be a major factor in reducing crisis and helping people move out of poverty. Action to address climate change should also focus on minimising its potential impacts in terms of energy and transport poverty, as well as vulnerability to extreme weather.

Main changes and challenges

  • Poverty has been around so long it is almost seen as inevitable - challenging that thinking will be key
  • The pressure is often placed on people who need help to find it at a time when they may be struggling to cope
  • Poverty is a spiral - the effects of poverty serving to make poverty worse. It is this spiral which needs to be broken

How we will achieve this

Make it easier to access services through a no wrong door approach

Challenge stigma and attitudes that can prevent people from accessing the services they need

Community wealth building approaches can help to break the poverty spiral

Better intelligence to proactively reach people in need, with a focus on prevention rather than just responding to crisis

Help people maximise income and remove cost barriers to participation

Sustainable approaches to basics such as food security and welfare provision

Develop environmental and cultural strategies for Fife to support community health and wellbeing

Tackling poverty & preventing crisis 2022/23

Fife’s first annual report on Tackling Poverty & Preventing Crisis, giving an overview of progress made by partners, during 2022/23.

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