Fife MSP warns of growing culture gap in Scotland

Fife MSP Claire Baker believes there is a growing culture gap between the richest and poorest in Scotland.
Fife MSP Claire Baker believes there is a growing culture gap between the richest and poorest in Scotland.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Claire Baker claims there is a growing ‘culture gap’ between the richest and poorest in Scotland.

Ms Baker said official figures show a 22-point gap between the richest and poorest when it comes to participating in cultural activity, including reading. This is up two points from the year previous.

She revealed that analysis of the 2016 Scottish Household Survey shows 66 per cent of the least well off group participate in cultural activity, compared to 88 per cent of the most well off.

The Scottish Labour MSP believes that these figures show the huge gap that exists within society between the richest and poorest is not just financial, but exists in almost every aspect of life.

Ms Baker said that an effective cut of £700million to local authorities would make the problem worse, with more local libraries potentially closing.

The MSP said: “These figures show that austerity and inequality isn’t just about the money in your pocket, it’s about the quality of life people can have.

“Cultural activity enriches our lives, be it through reading, visiting a museum or seeing a live performance.

“The figures reveal the huge gap that exists in almost every aspect of life between the richest and poorest in society. A further effective cut of £700 million to local authorities will just make this worse.”

She added: “It is clear that radical action is needed to address the gap between the wealthiest and the poorest, not just financially but right across society.”