Survey reveals a quarter believe poverty is caused by laziness

(L to R) Mark Greenaway (TV Chef), Ewan Aitken (chief Exec Cyrenians), Ian Grimwade (Head of Buisnees Development Cyrenians), Sonny Murray (Service User)
(L to R) Mark Greenaway (TV Chef), Ewan Aitken (chief Exec Cyrenians), Ian Grimwade (Head of Buisnees Development Cyrenians), Sonny Murray (Service User)

More than a quarter of those living in Fife and Mid Scotland believe poverty is a result of laziness according to a new survey.

The poll, published by Scottish charity Cyrenians, as part of their newly launched “Tell Your Story” campaign aimed at changing public perceptions of those living in poverty, found that 24 per cent believed poverty was a result of laziness on the part of those living in poverty.

The same study found that the majority of Scots think that unemployment, addiction and family circumstances are main causes of poverty, with 27 per cent believed a lack of willpower was another contributory factor to people living in poverty.

In order to tackle poverty, Cyrenians aim over the next five years to increase the number of people they support annually from 4400 to 6000 people in a major expansion of their work in Scotland as they respond to a rise in demand from those who feel excluded from family, home, work or community.

Announcing the expansion at an event with award-winning TV chef, Mark Greenaway, at Cyrenians Good Food depot in Edinburgh, Ewan Aitken, Cyrenians chief executive, said: “The Scottish public clearly believe that the type of support provided by Cyrenians, such as working with people in danger of becoming excluded from their family or home at an early stage and working with those most at risk, are the best ways to reduce poverty rather than blunt financial instruments or stigmatising language. We want to build on that and challenge any perception amongst the public that those in poverty are only there through laziness or lack of willpower.”

“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.

“We should remember that we all have a past, a present and a future, so we are urging people to come forward and, please, tell your story.”