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16 October 2023
Tax affects us all, and determines much about the society we live in – including through its central role in funding public services in Scotland, and the importance of tax in political representation and democratic engagement.
The Scottish Government’s overall approach to tax and spend has been progressive, however there is scope to go significantly further. The Commission believes that this will be required if the Scottish Government is to be fiscally sustainable, and to deliver on its ambition to tackle poverty in all its forms.
The Commission formed a working group on tax to look in more detail around how taxation in Scotland can better tackle poverty and inequality. The Commission has published a report based on the work of the group. It recommends that the Scottish Government and its partners must:
- Ensure all land and property in Scotland is registered with a current and accurate valuation.
- Revalue properties subject to the current council tax, and immediately start work to design its replacement.
- Seek to devolve the necessary powers to set rates and bands of income tax for savings and dividend income for Scottish taxpayers.
- Improve public understanding of, and compliance with, devolved taxation.
- Broaden the tax base in Scotland by doing the work required to bring wealth into scope for future tax policy, and implement transparency measures on the profits of multinational companies.
Tax polling conducted by Survation – summary results (pdf, 238kb)
The Commission responded to the Scottish Government consultation on a Human Rights Bill for Scotland.
The Commission responded to the Scottish Government and COSLA’s “Fairer Council Tax” consultation on increasing the council tax charges for higher value properties.
The Poverty and Inequality Commission has published a briefing on advice services in Scotland and the cost of living crisis. The Commission and Experts by Experience Panel members carried out visits between August 2022 and March 2023 across a range of Local Authorities in Scotland. This briefing has a particular focus on speaking to advice services that are directly supporting their clients through the cost of living crisis.
The Commission responded to the Scottish Government and COSLA’s consultation on giving local authorities the power to increase council tax on second homes and empty home.
The report covers the period from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2023 and looks back at the work the Commission has carried out to take forward its strategic priorities. This has included looking at the progress that is being made towards meeting the child poverty targets, and establishing a working group on tax. It also sets out the how the Commission has spent its budget.
During 2022-23 the cost of living crisis has been a significant focus for the Commission. Over the year the Commission has been visiting frontline and community organisations across Scotland to find out more about the impact of the cost of living crisis, and has also provided advice to the Scottish Government on actions that could be taken in the short, medium and long term to support those most at risk due to the crisis.
Throughout the year our panel of Experts by Experience has worked closely with the Commission on all these issues and helped inform and influence the Commission’s decision-making using their knowledge and expertise.
13 June 2023
The Poverty and Inequality Commission has published its Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2022-23. The report sets out progress in 2022-23 towards meeting the child poverty targets.
The report finds that while increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £25 per week undoubtedly represents significant progress, more action is required at a greater scale or Scotland will miss the 2030 child poverty targets.
In preparing the Scottish Government’s annual Child Poverty Progress Report, Scottish Ministers must consult the Poverty and Inequality Commission on the progress that is being made towards meeting the child poverty targets.
The Commission has worked with members of its Experts by Experience Panel to look in detail at what progress has been made in implementing some of the major commitments in the Scottish Government’s second child poverty delivery plan, Best Start, Bright Futures.
Download the Executive Summary (pdf, 970kb)
The Scottish Government’s Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan: annual progress report 2022 – 2023 can be found here.
The Poverty and Inequality Commission’s Experts by Experience Panel responded to a request from the Scottish Commission on Social Security (SCoSS) for views on the Draft Regulations Carer’s Assistance (Carer Support Payment) (Scotland) 2023. Three Panel members with direct experience of care formed a working group to respond to the draft Regulations.
The Panel have been concerned about the pressure that unpaid carers face in the ongoing cost of living crisis. To explore this issue, a Panel member presented on their experience to other Panel members about the challenges carers face on a daily basis and what government could do to ease this pressure. The Panel have also met with Scottish Government officials working on carer policy and carer benefits, to hear about work that the Scottish Government is doing to support carers and give panel members the chance to tell officials what more they feel should be done.
The Experts by Experience Panel have noted that one of its key priorities is the relationship between disability and poverty and the impact that poverty has on disabled people. This is due to concerns that the Panel have that disabled people face lower rates of employment and higher costs of living and are more likely to be living in poverty. Due to this link to poverty, the Panel has taken an interest in issues such as eligibility conditions, access to benefits and the amount of disability assistance that is provided to disabled people.
You can read the submission that the Experts by Experience Panel made to the consultation that was carried out on the Adult Disability Payment Mobility component below: