Cash-First: Towards Ending the Need for Food Banks in Scotland Fairer Scotland Duty Impact Assessment

The Fairer Scotland Duty 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.

Part 4 - Summary of assessment findings

As set out above, there is strong evidence that people who experience socio-economic disadvantage have a higher prevalence of household food insecurity and food bank use. This view has been informed by official statistics, evidence from frontline services, research publications, and consultation responses.

The actions outlined in the Plan[39] are underpinned by human rights principles and careful consideration has been given to reducing socio-economic inequalities. The Plan aims to ensure cash-first support is better coordinated, more accessible, and grounded in direct-experience. It sets out the nine actions we will take over the next three years, alongside others, that can have a positive impact now on how people facing crisis are supported and includes targeted support for those most likely to be impacted, including those facing socio-economic disadvantage.

Community, stakeholder, local authority and cross policy engagement has taken place to gather data across society of the impact of food insecurity. The feedback and the consultation responses shaped the cash-first programme which has been designed to allow ongoing development at a local level when any risks are identified throughout its delivery and enable mitigating actions to be implemented as appropriate.

We will continue to use data collected in national surveys, and by the Trussell Trust, IFAN and FareShare, to identify any socio-economic barriers, and share intelligence with local authorities to allow consideration of preventative support actions which they may be able to put in place.

Further changes may be considered throughout the lifespan of the Plan to align with the requirements of the Fairer Scotland Duty guidance[40]. These may include investigation, with further evidence gathering and bespoke interventions, subject to local needs and circumstance.


Name: Julie Humphreys

Job title: Deputy Director, Tackling Child Poverty and Financial Wellbeing

Date: 28 June 2023



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