The Poverty and Inequality Commission was established from 1 July 2019. It is an advisory non-departmental public body which provides independent advice and scrutiny to Scottish Ministers on poverty and inequality. It replaces the previous non-statutory Poverty and Inequality Commission which came to an end on 30 June 2019.
The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 sets out specific requirements for the Commission in relation to child poverty. These include
- Providing advice to Ministers on Child Poverty Delivery Plans
- Commenting on annual progress towards the targets and what further progress is needed to meet the targets.
The Public Services Reform (Poverty and Inequality Commission) (Scotland) Order 2018 widens the Commission’s remit to cover:
- Advising Scottish Ministers on any matter relating to poverty or inequality in Scotland, including the impact of polices and the use of resources in reducing poverty and inequality
- Monitoring progress in reducing poverty and inequality in Scotland
- Promoting the reduction of poverty and inequality in Scotland
In order to perform its functions the Commission can do such things as it considers appropriate, such as gathering evidence, carrying out research, and preparing and publishing reports.
The Commission will respond to requests for advice from Scottish Ministers, but will also develop its own work programme to scrutinise progress and to promote the importance of particular issues in reducing poverty and inequality.