Patrick Harvie on poverty

As a politician, how does it make you feel passing a person begging on the street?

Patrick Harvie, co-convener of the Scottish Greens: Empathy for the person themselves, but I also feel ashamed of our society for allowing the chronically unequal distribution of resources, of opportunities and of hope.

What’s more important – tackling poverty, tackling inequality or mitigating the impact of poverty?

Poverty and inequality both matter, and ‘mitigating’ them will never be enough. Thinking that only poverty matters, and that a safety net at the bottom justifies a vast gap between the richest and the rest, breaks the feeling of connection and solidarity between people and can never lead to a cohesive society. We need to deal with the structural causes of poverty and inequality, in particular, the massively unfair distribution of wealth in our society.

Read more from Holyrood Magazine’s Q&A with  Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie



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