The Scottish Government wants to be confident that its financial decisions help deliver positive outcomes for all in Scotland. This is at the heart of Scottish Ministers' ambitions for a socially just nation.
The Government has developed a systematic approach to assessing budget decisions for their impact on equality groups. Assessing the equality impact of policy proposals and related spending in this way allows the experiences of different groups to be actively taken into account. This means that budgets can be effectively targeted to benefit specific groups, and helps to avoid or mitigate particular negative impacts.
The equality assessment of the budget is presented in an Equality Statement, published each year alongside the Scottish Draft Budget.
On 9 October 2014 the Government published the latest Equality Statement , alongside the Scottish Draft Budget 2015-2016. The Equality Statement provides an impact assessment of spend by ministerial portfolio.
Given the comprehensive nature of the Equality Statement published in September 2013, the purpose of this year’s Equality Statement is to provide supplementary assessments focused on areas where there has been significant change in expenditure plans since last year’s Equality Statement or where new relevant equality evidence has emerged.
The Equality and Budget Advisory Group (EBAG), a non-statutory advisory group convened by the Scottish Government, provides advice to the Scottish Government on its approach to embedding equality considerations into the Budget process.
Equality Analysis in the Budget and Spending Review 2011 onwards has informed our approach over the past few years and supported the changes in budget processes and structures.
In 2010, we commissioned work on the recession and its impact on equality groups. The analytical report Coping with change and uncertainty - Scotland's equalities groups and the recession (Scottish Government, 2010) provided an equality analysis of how individuals and equality groups in Scotland were faring in the recession and an indication of the initial impact of the UK Government Spending Plans.
For 2011, we reviewed the evidence considered in the 2010 report, and provided updated analysis within the budgeting process. The revised report, The position of Scotland's equality groups: revisiting resilience in 2011 was published alongside the Budget and Equality Budget Statement.
Please visit our Equality Research webpage for more details of our analytical work.