Leader comment: Here’s the statistic which should shame Edinburgh

It is a statistic which should shame us all.

More than one in five children in Edinburgh are living in relative poverty. In some areas, it is as much as 35 per cent.

There are many and complex contributing factors but this is a situation which simply should not exist in a modern and incredibly wealthy European capital.

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The benefits freeze and soaring house and rental prices are creating a perfect storm of misery, largely unseen by those in the New Town bubble or the hordes of tourists who flock to our city.

Today we report on comments of Dr Jim McCormick, chairman of the Edinburgh Poverty Commission (the very fact Edinburgh has a ‘poverty commission’ is a depressing barometer of failure).

“Here and now, the single biggest challenge for Edinburgh is housing costs,” he says. “The pathway to poverty reduction in Edinburgh has a lot to do with getting control of rents in the private rented sector.”

We hope this can now become a reality. Rent control seems to have been an issue under discussion for years. The longer the delay, the worse the problem becomes, and the more families are pulled into the poverty trap.

It won’t solve poverty in Edinburgh overnight but it will go a long way to making life easier for many.

Edinburgh is a wealthy successful city - everyone should share in its success.

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