Tackling child poverty delivery plan 2022-2026 - annex 1: Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 requirements

This annex to Best Start, Bright Futures: the second tackling child poverty delivery plan 2022 to 2026 explains how we have met the requirements of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017.

Annex 1: Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 Requirements

Section 9 of the Child Poverty Act sets out a range of requirements around Delivery Plans. This annex explains how we have met those requirements, with directions to the relevant parts of the Plan.

The Scottish Ministers must prepare a plan (a "Delivery Plan") for each of the following periods-
  • 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2022
  • 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2026
  • 1 April 2026 to 31 March 2031

This is the second of three Delivery Plans that will be prepared. The actions set out here take us up to 31 March 2026. Preparations for the third Delivery Plan will begin in 2025.

A Delivery Plan must set out-

  • the measures that the Scottish Ministers propose to take during the period of the Plan for the purpose of meeting the child poverty targets;
  • an assessment of the contribution the proposed measures are expected to make to meeting the child poverty targets;
  • an explanation of how that assessment has been arrived at; and
  • an assessment of the financial resources required to fund the proposed measures.

The delivery plan sets out the proposed measures in Parts A, B and C.

Annexes 4 & 5, the Cumulative Impact Assessment and Impact of Policies on Child Poverty set out how the Plan's actions are linked to impacting the child poverty targets.

A summary of action, impact and resources can be found in the introduction to each section of the report.

A full list of estimated resources to be allocated in 2022-23 in relation to activities set out in the plan is shown below. Resources for the remaining years of the delivery plan are dependent on the ongoing Resource Spending Review.

A Delivery Plan must, in particular, set out what (if any) measures the Scottish Ministers propose to take in relation to-

The provision of financial support for children and parents, including the making of such provision by virtue of Part 3 of the Scotland Act 2016 (welfare benefits and employment support).

Part B sub-section entitled 'Social Security' sets out our proposals for providing direct financial support to families through the social security system.

Children living in households whose income is adversely affected, or whose expenditure is increased, because a member of the household has one or more protected characteristics.

The introduction (sub-section entitled 'Scotland's Plan strengthens the focus on the families at greatest risk of poverty') summarises our approach to priority groups - groups who we know are at higher risk of poverty, sometimes because of a protected characteristic, for example where an adult or a child in the household is disabled; minority ethnic households; and households where the mother is particularly young or the child is less than one year old. Actions targeted at these groups are further articulated in parts A, B and C.

More detail on the analysis underpinning our priority groups is available in Annexes 6 and 7 (Evidence Review and EQIA), and detail on policy impact on these groups available in Annex 5 (Impact of Policies on Child Poverty).

In addition, a full Equality Impact Assessment, Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment, and Fairer Scotland Duty Assessment have been carried out and are published as Annexes 8, 9 and 10.

Supporting local authorities to consider the automatic payment of benefits and support.

Part B 'Social Security' and 'Income Maximisation' set out commitments to improve data sharing and work toward benefit automation where possible, beginning with education related benefits.

The provision and accessibility of information, advice and assistance to parents in relation to-
  • social security matters;
  • income maximisation; and
  • financial support.
Part B 'Social Security' and 'Income Maximisation' sets out a range of commitments related to income maximisation, financial support and benefit uptake.

Education and, in particular, closing the attainment gap.

Part C, 'Supporting Children to Learn and Grow' sets out our actions towards equality and excellence in education, and tackling the poverty related attainment gap.

The availability and affordability of housing.

Part B, 'Warm affordable homes' sets out actions on access to affordable homes, tackling fuel poverty, and preventing homelessness.

The availability and affordability of childcare.

Part A, 'Connectivity and Childcare' contains a section on 'Improving access and availability of childcare'.

The facilitation of-
  • the employment of parents (with remuneration that is sufficient to secure an adequate standard of living); and
  • the development of the employment-related skills of parents.
Part A, 'A strengthened employment offer to parents' contains actions on employability and skills and 'Transforming our Economy' contains actions on improving the quality of employment opportunities.

Physical and mental health.

Part B, 'A transformational approach to people and place' contains sections on 'A new approach to health services' and 'Improving access to mental health services'.

Children living in single-parent households.

As one of the priority family types, lone parent households stand to benefit significantly from the Plan's full range of measures including support in employability, connectivity and childcare, social security, and children's learning and growth.

Arrangements for setting the amount of the revenue support grant payable to each local authority in order to ensure that resources are directed for the purpose of contributing to the meeting of the child poverty targets.

Any commitments in the Delivery Plan which require changes to the revenue support grant will be discussed and agreed with COSLA in accordance with the usual procedure.

A Delivery Plan must, in particular, set out whether, during the period of the Plan for the purpose of meeting the child poverty targets, the Scottish Ministers intend to bring forward legislation to exercise the power provided for in section 24 of the Scotland Act 2016 to top-up social security benefits in relation to providing a top-up for child benefit paid under section 141 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992.

Part B, 'Social Security' sets out the package of five family benefits, including an increase in the Scottish Child Payment.

In preparing a Delivery Plan, the Scottish Ministers must-
  • consult the Commission on the measures they propose to include in the Delivery Plan;
  • have regard to any recommendations made by the Commission; and
  • set out in the Delivery Plan the changes, if any, they have made in the Delivery Plan as a result of any such recommendations.

Advice from the Poverty and Inequality Commission was received in December 2021 and published in January 2022, following a request for advice from Scottish Ministers.

The table below sets out how we have taken account of the Commission's recommendations.

In preparing a Delivery Plan, the Scottish Ministers must consult-

Such local authorities or associations of local authorities as they consider appropriate.

A full list of stakeholders consulted is shown below. This includes consultation with both local authorities and COSLA.

Such persons and organisations working with or representing children as they consider appropriate.

For a full list of stakeholders consulted see section Consultation.

Such persons and organisations working with or representing parents as they consider appropriate.

For a full list of stakeholders consulted see section Consultation.

The Scottish Parliament.

The Social Justice and Social Security Committee were consulted as the committee with the remit, expertise and oversight of this work. Their recommendations were received in November 2021.

Such persons and organisations as they consider appropriate who work with or represent children or parents living in households whose income is adversely affected, or whose expenditure is increased, because a member of the household has one or more protected characteristics.

For a full list of stakeholders consulted see section Consultation.

Such persons who have experience of living in poverty and such other persons as they consider appropriate.

For a full list of stakeholders consulted see section Consultation.

Responding to the recommendations and advice of the poverty and inequality commission

PIC Recommendation Delivery plan response

1. Action + Investment

In order to meet the child poverty targets, the Scottish Government must use all the levers available to it and deliver action at a much greater pace and scale, and with significantly higher levels of investment.

The response to COVID-19 demonstrated that ambitious action, delivered at pace and scale can be achieved across Scotland when all partners are united in focus and delivering shared outcomes.

There is a clear role for government in setting the strategic direction and ensuring that our actions and resources deliver the positive progress needed. We are committed to working differently with the public sector, business and the third sector to achieve our ambitions and to tackle child poverty in Scotland. We will also strengthen our engagement with Children's Services Planning Partnerships across Scotland and their role in working collaboratively to improve outcomes for children and families.

Summaries of action, impact and resource can be found in the introductions to each Part of the Plan.

2. Impact

The Scottish Government must ensure that actions are more clearly linked to targets and that it is clear, before funding is committed, what the impact of an action is expected to be on child poverty targets.

See the section of the plan entitled 'Scotland's Plan is clear on the impact of actions'. The Plan is published alongside our updated evaluation strategy and new Cumulative Impact Assessment (CIA).

3. Delivery Plan

To meet the child poverty targets the next Delivery Plan must:

  • deliver at greater pace and scale
  • join up policy actions across government
  • take a rights based approach
  • look at the needs of families as a whole
  • work with experts by experience to understand what families need and to design, monitor and evaluate policies and actions
  • address the structural inequalities that underpin poverty
  • put the priority groups at the centre and take an intersectional approach to understanding and meeting the needs of families, including improving data
  • make better use of evidence in designing, monitoring and evaluating policies and actions
  • have a greater focus on implementation – evidence how policies and actions are working for families
  • deliver its actions in a way that reduces the stigma around poverty
Deliver at greater pace and scale
  • See recommendation 1 in this table.
Join up policy actions across government
  • Increased join up across government is noted throughout the plan, particular examples include the new employability offer to parents, bringing together employability, childcare and other crucial support, partnership between health, advice and social security to expand access to advice in accessible settings)
Take a rights based approach
  • See the Plan's Introduction section entitled 'Scotland's Plan is rooted in dignity, equality and respect for human rights' and Annex 7: Children's Rights & Wellbeing Impact Assessment.
Look at the needs of families as a whole
  • The £500m Whole Family Wellbeing Fund (see Part B) will help to transform services so that families can access preventative, holistic support which is wrapped around their needs, and provided when they need it and for as long as they need it.
Work with experts by experience
  • The Plan is the result of targeted consultation with children and young people, parents, families, and stakeholders representing their interests. (See below for the full list of stakeholders consulted.)
  • Part A highlights plans to establish a peer ambassador approach to service engagement and a lived experience panel to inform development of employability actions. Part B highlights the seldom heard voices work in Social Security Scotland.
Address structural inequalities
  • See sub-section under Part A entitled 'Tackling structural inequality in employment'. We are committed to coordinated implementation of the refresh of the Fair Work Action Plan which will include commitments focusing specifically on the Gender Pay Gap, Disability Employment Action, as well as a new ethnicity pay gap strategy.
Take an intersectional approach
  • The Plan focuses on the priority family groups and recognises that some families fall into more than one of these categories. See the Plan's Introduction and EQIA.
Better use of evidence & Greater focus on implementation
  • Our new 'cumulative impact assessment' (annex 4) and enhanced 'evaluation strategy' (annex 2) enable us to clearly link our actions to impacting the child poverty targets.
Reduce the stigma
  • Through a focus on priority families and taking action against structural inequalities, the Plan addresses stigma and discrimination, including relating to race, gender, and disability,
  • The Plan has a holistic, person-centred focus. It takes a 'no wrong door' approach, proving support through trusted services, and advice in places where families already go.

4. Policy Across Government

Addressing child poverty must be at the core of the design and delivery of policies across government. This requires stronger leadership and accountability.

The Plan shows that tackling child poverty sits at the core of policies across government, including the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET), Housing to 2040, employability, transport, social security, health, justice, education.

5. SCP

The Scottish Government is likely to need to increase the Scottish Child Payment beyond £20 per week in order to meet the interim child poverty targets.

Part B: Social Security

'Our package of five family benefits' will include doubling the value of the SCP to £20 per week per child from April 2022, and will further increase its value to £25 per week per week by the end of 2022.

6. Benefits

The Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland should make sure that families get all the social security benefits they are entitled to.

Part B: Income Maximisation

As well as enhancing the package of five family benefits, the Plan sets out a strategy for 'Providing support to overcome barriers to accessing support' and 'Improving quality and availability of advice services'. This focuses on enhancing support in places where families already go, including healthcare providers.

7. Minimum Income Guarantee

The Scottish Government should use the design and implementation of a Minimum Income Guarantee to help deliver on the 2030 child poverty targets, and take action to maximise the longer term opportunities offered by Scottish devolved social security.

Part B: Social Security

In the longer‑term, we are committed to begin work to deliver a Minimum Income Guarantee and have established a cross-party steering group on a new Minimum Income Guarantee for Scotland. The group will make its initial report in autumn 2022, and will run until at least August 2023, producing recommendations which will be designed to be achievable and implementable, and intended to tackle poverty, inequality and insecurity.

8. Good Jobs

The Scottish Government should use the levers it has to create and encourage more good jobs in Scotland. By good jobs we mean secure and meaningful work, with fair pay and conditions, adequate options around flexibility, and opportunities for progression.

Part A: Transforming our economy

This part of the Plan details 'Becoming a Fair Work Nation' with fair pay and hours. It includes 'Ensuring the public sector plays our part' through promoting fair work practices in public procurement.

9. Childcare & Transport

The Scottish Government should invest in childcare and transport infrastructure in order to reduce costs for families and enable parents to work.

Part A: Connectivity and Childcare

The Plan commits to 'Improving access and availability of childcare' and 'Enhancing access and affordability of public transport'.

10. Employability & Skills

The Scottish Government should invest in employability and skills, and work with employers to address the barriers to work faced by some parents, particularly disabled parents.

Part A: Providing the opportunities and integrated support parents need to enter, sustain and progress in work

This section sets out actions to support parents to access and progress in work through a new, integrated service, including increased scale of support available, increased uptake of support, and access to training, skills and opportunities.

Part A: Transforming our economy

The sub-section entitled 'Tackling structural inequality in employment' details our commitment to remove barriers to employment, especially those related to gender, disability and ethnicity.

11. Housing

The Scottish Government must make impact on child poverty a measure of the success of its housing policies.

Part B: Warm affordable homes

This section sets out action to deliver access to warm, affordable, energy efficient homes with a focus on meeting families' needs.


Email: TCPU@gov.scot

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