News

Reducing poverty and inequality

Published: 20 Dec 2018 09:51

Progress being made to make Scotland fairer.

Significant steps have been taken this year to build a fairer and more equal country, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said today. 

The progress made to reduce poverty and inequality and to make our society more prosperous is detailed in the Fairer Scotland Action Plan 2018 Progress Report published today. 

This is the second annual review of the action plan, which was launched in 2016.  Key areas of progress include: 

·         Publication of the first Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan as set out in Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 and

·         Launching the new Private Residential Tenancy on 1 December 2017

·         Launching a new devolved employability service, Fair Start Scotland

·         Reaching a target of 1,000 accredited Living Wage employers

·         Committing to lift at least 25,000 more people onto the Living Wage

·         Introducing the Fuel Poverty Bill

·         Launching a new free Financial Health Check service

On a visit to Muirhouse Millennium Centre in Edinburgh, Ms Campbell met with family support workers from the Low Incomes Families Together (LIFT) project to learn more about the work they do. 

Ms Campbell said: “Building a fairer and more equal country is a key priority for this government. It is great to see that the £29 million committed through the Fairer Scotland Action Plan is supporting projects such as Muirhouse Millennium Centre,  who are providing vital assistance to help families get the support they are entitled to. 

“Over the last year we have started to deliver real and lasting change across Scotland. We have seen the first strong steps from our newly devolved powers with the launch of Fair Start Scotland, and the first payments from Social Security Scotland. Through this we are putting dignity, fairness and respect at the heart of public service and delivering real cash increases to families in need. 

“We have also been stepping up our efforts to help end child poverty. We launched our first Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan in March, backed by the £50 million Tackling Child Poverty Fund. This is truly something for Scotland to be proud of and we are the only part of the UK to have taken such action and set in statute the ambition to eradicate child poverty. Our actions include investing £12 million in intensive employment support for parents, committing to develop a new Income Supplement, and launching our new Financial Health Check service. 

“The Fairer Scotland Action Plan sets out our progress from the last year, but it is clear there is still much more to do, and we remain absolutely committed to building a fairer and more prosperous Scotland for all.”