REX/Michael McGurk

Scottish minister: drawing border won't solve problems

Thu 11 Sep 2014
By Marcus Jones

A Scottish clergyman is urging Christians concerned about poverty levels in the country to vote no at the referendum.

One in five children live in poverty north of the border with the figure at one in three in some areas.

Revd Scott Rennie from Aberdeen said voting yes is not a magic wand to all of Scotland's problems.

He told Premier Christians have a moral duty to improve the situation across the whole of the UK and not just at home.

"I want to see social justice achieved across the United Kingdom, not just in our part of it.

"I don't see that you solve the problem simply by drawing a border," he said.

There's been fierce debate in Scotland about how to tackle the increasing number of food banks in the country.

Many say the way to solve that is through independence but Revd Rennie disagrees.

He added: "One of the big issues raised by the campaign has been the issue of social justice and poverty which of course all Christians care about and are interested in.

"But how far our concern about these issues actually goes in terms of do we concern ourselves simply with poverty in Scotland or actually are we interested in these issues across the United Kingdom."

Scots will be asked the yes/no question 'should Scotland be an independent country?' on September 18.

The Yes Campaign maintains an independent Scotland is the only way to solve the problem.

On its website it said: "While child poverty in Scotland soars as a result of brutal Tory cuts, Westminster is happy to waste £130billion on renewing and maintaining Trident – money which should be spent on making our country a better place to live.

"Independence is all about the ability to put Scotland’s wealth to better use, and develop a higher standard of living as befits our position as one of the wealthiest nations on Earth.

"Instead of spending £250million of Scots taxpayers’ cash a year on nuclear weapons, we can invest in a transformational increase in free childcare, to save hard-pressed families tens of thousands of pounds and give our children a better start in life."

Click here to read a minister who's voting yes discuss the issue of poverty.

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