Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

SNP MSP Kate Forbes speaks out on ‘stark reality’ of poverty in the Highlands

Kate Forbes is MSP for one of the most rural parts of Scotland (Ruaraidh White / Scottish Parliament)
Kate Forbes is MSP for one of the most rural parts of Scotland (Ruaraidh White / Scottish Parliament)

WELFARE reformers are overlooking the “stark reality” of Highland poverty, an MSP has warned.

Kate Forbes, who represents one of the most remote and rural areas of Scotland, felt compelled to speak up after meeting a man sleeping rough in the snow at Dingwall train station.

But the SNP politician said thousands more are living in deprivation, hidden in cold and threadbare homes.

High costs for food, fuel, travel and clothes have been blamed but the Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch MSP said this is being ignored.

She said: “Highland poverty isn’t always sleeping on the station for all to see.

“It’s huddled in a cold home, isolated and lonely for lack of transport, or it’s choosing between heat or something to eat.

“It’s there, whether you can see it or not and it’s about time this stark reality shaped welfare policies, retailers’ pricing and our sense of neighbourliness.”

Half of people in rural Scotland live in fuel poverty, spending more than 10% of their income on heating and cooking, and one-fifth are in extreme fuel poverty, spending at least 20%.

“There are higher prices for food, clothes and groceries, as well as the increased charges of fuel and the travel costs that are slapped on to every trip.”

Miss Forbes added: “Whatever the reason, we are ignoring the stark reality of Highland poverty.”