Alex Salmond, the former leader of the Scottish National Party, has joined a growing number of political heavyweights endorsing The Big Issue manifesto, which puts prevention at the heart of tackling poverty and homelessness.
“I’m backing the Big Issue’s campaign to put poverty – and poverty prevention – at the heart of this election,” says the SNP’s foreign affairs spokesperson, who was succeeded by Nicola Sturgeon as Scotland’s First Minister.
“We all know that poverty and homelessness are interconnected,” he adds. “It’s not just about building houses – although building houses is necessary. It’s also about a range of actions to make sure people don’t become homeless.
“Prevention of poverty and its deep underlying reasons are hugely important, but it takes political commitment. Commitment to recognise that if we work together, we can launch a sustained attack on poverty.”
Whilst Brexit dominates this general election campaign, there are many social problems that need addressing – including around poverty, health, social care, education, literacy, housing and pay equality. The Big Issue believes that these problems should be prevented from happening in the first place, and it seems our voice is being heard, as the UK’s three biggest political parties have made statements about putting prevention at the heart of their strategies to end homelessness.
If we work together, we can launch a sustained attack on poverty
Plus in the past week, Green Party co-leader Caroline Lucas, Labour Party Chancellor John McDonnell and former Liberal Democrat deputy leader Vince Cable have all backed The Big Issue’s approach to achieving social justice for all.
“The Green Party is proud to say that when Green Party MPs are elected, we will put poverty prevention at the heart of everything we do,” said Lucas.
There are currently around 1,450 Big Issue sellers working hard on the streets each week.
Liberal Democrat Vince Cable commented: “The Big Issue have made it their mission to put this at the top of the agenda in the 2017 general election, and they’re absolutely right to do so.
Fourteen million people across Britain live in poverty
“Fourteen million people across Britain live in poverty, and 78 billion is spent dealing with the terrible consequences,” added the party veteran. “But poverty isn’t just an economic challenge, it’s a very personal one. Every single person living in poverty has their own circumstances and their very personal needs.
“Nobody should experience poverty.”
The SNP’s Neil Gray – a member of the SNP Westminster Social Justice team and the party’s Spokesperson for Fair Work and Employment – has also endorsed The Big Issue’s poverty prevention plan.
“We should not be seeing poverty in the 21st century,” he says. “I want to see more investment in public services to see greater poverty prevention steps taken.”