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Poverty and Inequality Commission Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2023-24


4 June 2024

The Poverty and Inequality Commission has published its Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2023-24. The report sets out the Commission’s view on progress in 2023-24 towards meeting Scotland’s statutory child poverty targets.

Download Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2023-24 Executive Summary (pdf, 1.27MB)

Download the full Child Poverty Scrutiny Report 2023-24 (pdf, 3.12MB)

This year, the Commission focused its scrutiny by looking more closely at the Scottish Government’s ‘priority family types’. These are the six family types that are at higher risk of poverty. The Commission worked with eight organisations who work directly with people from priority family types to get families’ views on their awareness of Scottish Government policies designed to reduce poverty, how well they felt these policies were working, and what else they felt was needed.

The Commission’s report makes four recommendations for the Scottish Government:

  • Recommendation 1: The Scottish Government should convene and lead a national cross-party and civil society agreement to develop a shared six year strategy to meet the 2030 child poverty targets. This cross-party approach should consider the choices that need to be made around tax and spending.
  • Recommendation 2: The Scottish Government should reprioritise funding to ensure that the necessary resources are made available to deliver both its existing commitments and future actions to tackle child poverty. This will require the Scottish Government to reprioritise budgets across portfolios and consider the eligibility criteria for different services and support.
  • Recommendation 3: The Scottish Government should act quickly on the recommendations set out in the Commission’s report How better tax policy can reduce poverty and inequality.
  • Recommendation 4: The Scottish Government should clarify and further develop how the priority family types are used to inform policy development, implementation and monitoring in policy areas related to the three key drivers of poverty.

In preparing its own annual child poverty progress report, the Scottish Government must consult the Poverty and Inequality Commission on the progress that has been made towards meeting the child poverty targets and what more is needed. The Scottish Government’s Best Start, Bright Futures Tackling Child Poverty Progress Report 2023-24 can be found here.

Response to Scottish Parliament Committee short inquiry on Scottish Child Payment


May 2024

The Poverty and Inequality Commission provided a submission to a short inquiry on the Scottish Child Payment from the Scottish Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee.

Download: Poverty and Inequality Commission – SJSS short inquiry Scottish Child Payment response – May 2024

 

Response to Below Average Resources consultation


April 2024

The Commission responded to selected questions in the Department for Work and Pensions consultation on the development of a new measure of poverty based on the Social Metrics Commission approach to poverty measurement.

Download: Poverty and Inequality Commission – consultation response – Below Average Resources – April 2024

Response to Social Security (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill consultation


January 2024

The Commission responded to a call for views from the Scottish Parliament Social Justice and Social Security Committee as part of its scrutiny of the Social Security (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill.

Download: Poverty and Inequality Commission consultation response – Social Security (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill

Response to Pension Age Winter Heating Payment consultation


January 2024

The Commission responded to the Scottish Government consultation on its plans for the Pension Age Winter Heating Payment.

Download: Poverty and Inequality Commission consultation response – Pension Age Winter Heating Payment

Poverty and Inequality Commission Biodiversity Report 2021-23


The Poverty and Inequality Commission has published its Biodiversity report for 2021-2023. Under the Nature Conservation (Scotland) Act 2004, all public bodies in Scotland are under a statutory duty to further the conservation of biodiversity when carrying out their responsibilities. Public bodies are required to report every three years on the actions which they have taken to meet this biodiversity duty.

Download the Commission’s Biodiversity Report 2021-23

Learning from the Commission’s Experts by Experience Panel


22 December 2023

In August 2021, the Commission established its first Experts by Experience Panel made up of 19 people from across Scotland with lived experience of poverty. The Panel was developed to embed participation in the work of the Commission and to ensure that those with lived experience of poverty were engaged in all aspects of the Commission’s work. The Panel ran for almost two years, until June 2023.

The Commission has produced a learning report that details the purpose, process and context of the Commission’s approach to establishing and working with the Panel. We hope that the learning will improve participation work within the Commission and also prove useful for others engaged in, or seeking to develop, participatory processes with experts by experience.

In the report, you will find details of:

  • The Commission’s objectives in establishing the Panel.
  • The context in which the Panel was established and embedded.
  • The Commission’s approach to embedding the participation of the Panel in its work, including principles, design, methods and approach to learning.
  • Details of the activities that the Panel took part in.
  • The impact of the Panel on Panel members, the Commission and Scottish Government.
  • Reflections on and key learning from the Commission’s work with the Panel.

Download the full report, including a summary here
(PDF, 48 Pages, 1.12 MB)

Download a summary of the report here
(PDF, 8 Pages, 595 KB)

Download the visual summary from the report here
(PDF, 3 Pages, 302 KB)

Case Studies of some key pieces of work the Panel contributed to can be found here: Case Studies – Experts by Experience Panel (2021 – 2023)

Supplementary Documents

Panel Terms of Reference

The Panel worked with the Commission to develop Terms of Reference. This outlined the purpose of the Panel, the details of membership, the roles of Panel members and the Commission, and ways of working.
Panel Terms of Reference_2021-23 (.docx, 45kb)

Panel Group Agreement

The Panel worked with the Commission to develop a Group Agreement. This outlined how Panel members, members of the Secretariat and Commissioners work together in a group context.
Panel Group Agreement_2021-23(.docx, 53kb)

Further Survey Results

At the links below, you will find a summary of responses from Panel members and Commissioners to the questions asked in a series of surveys that have, along with other evidence, informed this report.

Poverty and Inequality Commission Intersectionality strategy


December 2023

The Poverty and Inequality Commission recognises that taking an intersectional approach is critical in tackling poverty and inequality in Scotland. Many of those who are in deepest poverty will experience overlapping discrimination and intersecting inequalities, and by trying to understand and respond to their experiences and needs we are more likely to be able to design policies and actions that meet the needs of everyone who experiences poverty.

The Commission is committed to working towards taking an intersectional approach to developing its advice and scrutiny. This strategy sets out how we will go about doing this.

Download our Intersectionality Strategy

Framework document


20 November 2023

This framework document sets out the relationship between the Scottish Government and the Poverty and Inequality Commission.

Download the framework document (pdf, 271kb)

How better tax policy can reduce poverty and inequality


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:

  1. Ensure all land and property in Scotland is registered with a current and accurate valuation.
  2. Revalue properties subject to the current council tax, and immediately start work to design its replacement.
  3. Seek to devolve the necessary powers to set rates and bands of income tax for savings and dividend income for Scottish taxpayers.
  4. Improve public understanding of, and compliance with, devolved taxation.
  5. 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.

Download the Commission’s report on how better tax policy can reduce poverty and inequality (pdf,  835kb)

Report Annex: Policy assessment criteria and summary comments (pdf, 197kb)

Tax polling conducted by Survation – summary results (pdf, 238kb)

Tax polling conducted by Survation – tables and demographic breakdown of results (Excel, 218kb)

 

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