Tuesday, 5 January 2021

COVID 19 - 2021 Update

 Happy New Year from all the Team at Your Voice, Inverclyde Community Care Forum.

The Scottish Government has advised Scotland should be placed back into the highest level of lockdown. For what this means for Inverclyde, please CLICK HERE. Accordingly, we have once again taken the decision to close our offices, including Shopmobility Services, and all staff will be working from home. We will continue to be available by telephone, email and through our social media and website.

Our staff, including our Community Connectors will continue to communicate regularly with local people to check in on them and action accordingly.

We did not take this decision lightly, but as a Community Organisation we are obligated to do our utmost to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the people who use our service, as well as that of our staff team.

If you can not get out, please contact us as follows;

Telephone 01475 728628.
If you leave a voice message we will get back to you as soon as possible.

We continue to monitor the situation with regards to the Coronavirus Outbreak.

For medical advice on Coronavirus, check NHS INFORM: CLICK HERE
For Scottish Government Guidance CLICK HERE

Once again, many thanks for your patience and understanding at this difficult time.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Basic Income Survey - Challenging Poverty Group

Since posting our Universal Basic Income Survey online (to raise awareness and get your thoughts on Universal Basic Income65 local people have participated and below is a summary of the responses

Q. Have you heard of Universal Basic Income (UBI)? 


Yes - 52 people indicated that they had heard of UBI 

No - 13 people indicated that they had not heard of UBI  


Q. How do you think a Basic Income could benefit you? 

Below is a summary of comments from 56 individuals who feel that UBI would be beneficial to them. UBI would: 

  • Provide equality across the board 
  • Reduce stigma and means testing 
  • Take the pressure off, reduce physical & mental strain, stress & worryimprove self-esteem and enable people to reach their full potential 
  • Peace of mind and more stability (in a financial sense) for familiesallay fears of not being able to make ends meet knowing that the essentials of life are covered regardless of circumstances  
  • Enable people to save a wee bit for the future, plan for the longer term 
  • Better work life balance 
  • Give people the capacity to do more with their children / grandchildren - improved family and leisure time, access to parks and activities  
  • It will also boost the economy with us putting more back into the system with being able to spend a little more 
  • Allow self-employed, people on zero-hour contracts, seasonal workers, students carers, people with long term conditions to continue to be creative when work/income fluctuates  
  • Assist students over the holidays when SAS stops 
  • Assist people who work and have a caring role 
  • Would save money for the country on the administration costs as not as many staff would be needed as for UC. 
  • Access to better housing with a garden 
  • Make it easier for people to access further education / retrain  
  • I want to live and work in a fair and just society and feel that a Universal Basic Income would be a start in enabling this to happen

Below are all the comments from the 9 individuals who feel that UBI would not / may not be beneficial to them:

  • Not at all 
  • It couldn't 
  • It wouldn't, I'm semi-retired with an occupational pension 
  • It wouldn’t, I’ve never claimed benefits 
  • It wouldn't, as I have a works pension along with my old age pension 
  • It won’t because it would be lower than what I have through working all my life 
  • It would not benefit me personally as I am lucky enough to have sufficient money to live on and would be excluded from any scheme 
  • Don’t think it would. I would prefer to work for my income 
  • Reorganisation of the tax system may mean that we would be worse off or there would be no difference

Q. How do you think a Basic Income could benefit other people? 

Below is a summary of comments from 58 individuals on how UBI could benefit others: 

  • In the same ways it would benefit me 
  • It would reduce poverty, prevent homelessness and reduce / eradicate food banks  
  • Remove the stigmastress worry of being on benefitsfear of sanctions and being late for appointments etc 
  • Reduce inequality - provide better income irrespective of background, put everyone on an even keel 
  • Give people a sense of worth, feel like part of society and improve self esteem 
  • Create opportunities for people to undertake part time employment when they can e.g. people with long term conditions and childcare responsibilities  
  • Enable people to increase current working hours without fear of benefits being cut 
  • It would give people an opportunity to take jobs that benefit society without having to worry about the salary 
  • Help people who are struggling to get on their feet and maybe save a little for a rainy day 
  • It will benefit our whole economy with more items being bought, boost manufacturing and businesses throughout the area and will help people out of poverty 
  • It would help improve everyday life, with opportunities for good quality family time, hobbies, get involved in life improving ideas, get creative, learn something, become more open minded, build a kinder world 
  • A better work life balance and more employment, if people started out with the same amount of money, they could afford to work fewer hours thus opening up job opportunities for others and reducing unemployment. 
  • Think it is time for a radical change and this would be a start at reducing inequalities and having a fairer, happier and more equal society with less stigma and more capacity, people would be empowered to take control of their own lives 
  • People would be more secure, positive, happier, and healthier (access to healthier food and leisure) and there would be less crime, and thus less strain on the NHS and emergency services  
  • It would help 1000’s of people in Inverclyde 


 Below are all the comments from the 7 individuals who feel that UBI  may not / would not benefit others

  • Possibly make people reluctant to work 
  • I think a lot of people would be unhappy with this benefit.  Why work if someone who isn’t can get money for nothing 
  • If they don't want to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay 
  • Sorry but people need to get out to work, we are a nanny state here in Scotland 
  • Basic income with education will have no sustainable benefit 
  • Just encourage a lot to stay at home and still moan it's not enough 
  • It would make people dependant on the state and think why do I need to work 


Would you support the introduction of a Universal Basic Income in Inverclyde? 


Yes 51 people

Additional comments:  

  • I am very interested to see how it would work as it seems an interesting idea and might benefit the whole area 
  • Of course, I would. Inverclyde is really evolving recently, but there's still much to be done. I'm concerned for the environment and the well-being of the young people who need some purpose and often some mentoring. If the quality of life gets better, there will be more people keen to improve community life as well. And it will be possible. People do care. They just don't have the means to make things happen 
  • I think UBI is the most forward-thinking piece of potential legislation that has come out in years; a real, genuine game changer which would have massive benefits for society 
  • Absolutely, if we are to make a difference, we need to undo the structure that has been created and the increasing inequalities in our communities and society, undo & prevent rather than mitigate 
  • I would support the introduction of a UBI here in Inverclyde and I honestly think it is something our community will benefit from immensely 
  • Yes, as long as it is an actual living wage and not a pittance  
  • Yesgreat idea to give people their dignity back and allow them time to focus on regaining their confidence and use time for volunteering 
  • Yes. Not only because I support the scheme and am myself a resident of Inverclyde, but also because this area seems like a suitable testbed for such a scheme 
  • I would have no objection for it to be trialled in Inverclyde as long as it didn’t cause hardship for families that were already struggling 
  • Yes, as long as it can be reversed if it doesn't work 
  • Absolutely. As the most deprived area we need things to change for the poorest people here. During this virus outbreak, organisations such as the Credit Union and even foodbanks will operate at a distance and people will struggle for a few pounds a week just to see them through. Put money in their bank! It would be cheaper in the long run to proactively implement a basic income rather than bailing out people in the event of disaster and leaving debt everywhere, like in 2008, especially to those who can least afford it 

Not sure = people 


  • I'm not sure as I think the issues may be too complex. It says above, "the existing State benefits system would no longer be necessary" but what about the people with disabilities, the unpaid carers etc... they will need more than the Universal Basic Income will give if it's a one size fits all. It sound like a great idea but in practice I would worry it would be done on the cheap like community care was when they shut many mental hospitals and institutions and people were left floundering with little care in their communities  
  • Would require more information, e.g. how much it would be & that it would still make work pay 
  • Not sure. I worry it brings back a society who don’t want to work if there is automatic entitlement to money it would be same as horrendous benefit society that labour created, hence reversal if benefit system now. I think benefit system could work fairer without paying out to people who just don’t think they should contribute 


No = 5 people 


  • No!  We are already giving people an excuse not to work and this would just cement this idea 
  • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz 
  • No. Too many in Inverclyde do not want to work 
  • No because it’s not a fairer system and it has to be paid for so the working population will be taxed more to pay for it It would be like asking the government for a blank cheque 


Food for thought?