Cash-First: Towards ending the need for food banks in Scotland Equality Impact Assessment

The Equality Impact Assessment considers the impact of the Scottish Government’s Cash-First Plan and associated actions to improve the response to financial crisis and reduce the need for emergency food parcels

Stage 1 Framing

While anyone can experience financial hardship, there is evidence that some households are more likely to experience this than others. Some may also experience barriers to accessing crisis support services, which should be further considered in the development and delivery of the Plan. The available evidence generally focuses on one protected characteristic at a time, but it will be important to be mindful of the intersections between experiences through the delivery of the Plan and associated actions.

Official statistics on the prevalence of food insecurity and evidence from services that support people experiencing crisis indicate a higher prevalence of food insecurity and food bank use for some protected characteristics. Practitioners also highlight challenges in targeting crisis support to some households.[8]

The Scottish Government established a Steering Group and Direct Experience Reference Group to inform the development of the Plan. Members took steps to promote diverse participation in the consultation on a draft plan through their networks. An Easy Read document was published alongside the consultation with the option for paper copies to be issued on request.[9]

An independent analysis of responses provided insight into some of the barriers that people with some protected characteristics experience in accessing services that are there to support people experiencing financial crisis – for example, the barriers that disabled people can experience in accessing the Scottish Welfare Fund.[10]

Internal cross-policy engagement has highlighted evidence of high prevalence of food insecurity and barriers to accessing support services in other groups beyond the list of protected characteristics – for example, people with No Recourse to Public Funds, and those living in remote or rural communities.

Extent/Level of EQIA required

Evidence suggests that people with some protected characteristics have a higher prevalence of food insecurity and food bank use, and are likely to be impacted by the plan and associated actions. A full EQIA is therefore required.

The evidence also indicates that there is a higher prevalence of food insecurity in some household groups beyond the list of protected characteristics. Some of these impacts are further considered through the following separate assessments:

  • Fairer Scotland Duty Impact Assessment.
  • Islands Communities Impact Assessment .
  • Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment.



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