The Poverty and Inequality Commission has been established by Scottish Ministers, initially until 30 June 2019. From July 2019 a statutory Poverty and Inequality Commission will be established through the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act.
The Commission’s main role is to provide independent advice to Scottish Ministers on reducing poverty and inequality in Scotland and to scrutinise the progress that is being made.
Specifically it will:
- Have a strong initial focus on child poverty, providing advice during the development of the first delivery plan for the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill.
- Have a strong scrutiny role in monitoring progress towards tackling poverty and inequality and will openly hold Scottish Ministers to account on their progress.
- Have scope to develop its own work programme and to advise on policy development in particular areas where there is political consensus to do so.
- Proactively work with the Ministerial team, asking Ministers to give evidence where necessary, and reaching across Scottish Government departments to inform policy thinking.
- Have an advocacy role; for example, it will be able to work with business and wider civic society to promote the importance of particular issues where resources allow.
- Decide how it can best involve partner organisations in its work, including third sector stakeholders and relevant public bodies.
- Work collegiately with other independent institutions, seeking to enhance, rather than replicate, the work that is undertaken.
The Commission’s first request for advice was received on the 21 September 2017 from the The Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities.