I WAS moved by a piece on Channel 4 News this week about residents in the village of Penrhys in the Rhonnda Valley in Wales struggling to make ends meet. The reporter Andy Davies spoke to a young couple, Ed and Misha. Ed is a former army chef now training to be an HGV driver. Misha hopes one day to become a teacher. Meanwhile they are both on benefits. They have three children under the age of ten.

They are in more than £2,000 of debt for their energy bills. They pay a debt collector £20 per week just to prevent bailiffs from knocking on their door. Last Christmas, Ed borrowed nearly £500 from his parents just to get by. They also used charities to fund Christmas for the first time, as they hadn’t had to do that before.

READ MORE: Do English taxpayers subsidise Scotland? Here's how it really works

They use food banks. Their children’s clothes are either gifted from relatives or from charities. Their table, sofa, TV and kitchen appliances are all on hire purchase as they can’t afford to buy their own.

Another young woman, Leah, said she can’t afford to spend anything on herself. Everything she has needs to be spent on her two children or they would have go without.

Andy Davies said a recent finding by the Bevan Foundation charity discovered that nearly four in 10 Welsh households currently can’t afford anything other than everyday items.

This piece happened to be about a Welsh village but it could have been about hundreds of different communities throughout the UK and of course here in Scotland. At first I was moved by the piece but then it made me extremely angry. I’m seething that there are now millions of families throughout the UK and here in Scotland suffering so much purely due to the sickening greed of such a tiny proportion of the population, who have the full backing of the UK Tory government and the Scottish Tories.

READ MORE: Ofgem chief ‘not aware’ of power unit discrepancy in Scotland

Attaining independence, as well documented in this newspaper, will presumably mean more “progressive” policies from an independent Scottish Government to help close the inequality gap.

However I don’t know if people in Scotland realise what a massive job it’s going to be to properly help communities similar to Penrhys.

Rather than mere “progressive” policies, I’m convinced that a brutal wake-up call is required for not only those that have been able to live lavish lifestyles due to Tory policies but also for those that live in what is euphemistically termed a “comfortable” manner. I don’t know if I’m in that category but I acknowledge that irrespective of how bad the cost of living crisis gets, I can’t see myself visiting food banks any time soon, so yes, I should have to pay much more too.

READ MORE: Jacob Rees-Mogg claims 'Brexit wins' are just around the corner

This wake-up call will of course entail taking much more dosh from those with the “broad shoulders” to help less fortunate fellow Scots. It will entail the shit hitting the fan and the First Minister getting pelters from the Tories, many high heid yins in Scottish society and of course the (much unloved by nationalists) right-wing press. As for Scottish Labour, anything negative they say about this scenario will be quite rightly ridiculed. It will, however, in my opinion, definitely be the right thing to do.

I’m not naïve, there are loads of differing views about what an independent Scotland should look like. However in the land of “we are all Jock Tamson’s Bairns”, to fail to drastically improve the lives of those that have been stamped on over the years on the back of the rich and powerful and “comfortably” well-off would be treachery. Sorry, but that is how strongly I feel about this.

Ivor Telfer
Dalgety Bay