News

Tackling poverty and inequality

Published: 01 Feb 2021 09:45

Increased Budget investment for a Fairer Scotland.

Tackling deep-seated poverty and inequality will be supported by increased funding from the 2021-22 Scottish Budget.

To ensure all children have the best start in life, £68 million will be invested in the Scottish Child Payment, and £53 million will fund universal Free School Meals to all children in primary one, two and three.

Communities impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will continue to be supported through funds aimed at helping them recover and rebuild.

The 2021-22 Scottish Budget includes:

  • a near doubling of spending through the Tackling Child Poverty fund with £23.3 million of investment, and providing £6 million to local authorities to continue providing a school clothing grant worth at least £100 to every eligible child
  • £3.6 billion for social security to carers and those on low incomes
  • £150 million for fuel poverty and energy efficiency measures
  • £711.6 million for affordable housing and a new £55 million programme to support town centres
  • £32 million to promote equality and human rights, including actions to ensure this approach is embedded across government and the wider public sector
  • £15 million to further support children and young people with Additional Support Needs
  • more than £26 million of investment in the vital Third Sector
  • £81.6 million for projects to support community regeneration, town centres and 20 minute neighbourhoods – where people can meet their needs within a 20 minute walk from their home
  • over £12 million to support the Ending Homelessness Together action plan, including specific actions to scale up Housing First, end the use of communal night shelters, advance legislative protections for people experiencing domestic abuse and explore alternative routes to reduce migrant homelessness

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“We are putting tackling poverty at the heart of the Budget. In two weeks we introduce our new game-changing Scottish Child Payment, backed by investment of £68 million.

“As well as mitigating the impact of UK Government welfare cuts, we are supporting carers, young people, and low income families through our range of new benefits. This year also sees the start of the introduction of the first disability benefits as we continue to establish a social security system that is based on dignity and respect and investing in our people.”

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“In addition to responding to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, this budget is investing in actions designed to tackle deep-seated poverty and inequality including almost doubling our child poverty budget to £23.3 million. This means we will deliver our £50 million Tackling Child Poverty Fund commitment in full, continuing with investment in actions including our Parental Employability Support Fund, Access to Childcare Fund and innovative Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland programme.

“Funding for more affordable, greener housing is at the heart of the Scottish Budget, contributing to our net-zero ambitions while helping to ensure everyone has a home that meets their needs.

“We will also invest over £26 million in the local and national Third Sector infrastructure, support the capacity and growth of social enterprises, and ensure the Third Sector can help people and communities recover from the impact of the pandemic.”

Background

Scottish Budget

Equality and Fairer Scotland Budget Statement

Communities and Local Government