Scotland divided: poverty, inequality and the Scottish parliament

Mooney, Gerry and Johnstone, Charlie (2000). Scotland divided: poverty, inequality and the Scottish parliament. Critical Social Policy, 20(2) pp. 155–182.



The re-establishment of a Scottish parliament in Edinburgh in May 1999 has promised new and innovative developments in social policy. Focusing on poverty and social exclusion, this article considers the likelihood that the approach by the new Scottish parliament will represent a departure from the approach of the Westminster government. There is some expectation that Scotland's experience will be different given the distinctive political and cultural environment, but instead it is argued that the Scottish parliament is very much in tune with New Labour thinking in relation to poverty. The neglect of wider structural inequalities in wealth and income means that the Scottish parliament is unlikely to develop a radical approach which challenges existing structures of inequality.

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