Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill: children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment

Scottish Government's assessment of the impacts on children's rights and wellbeing of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill.

CRWIA Stage 3: Data Collection, Evidence Gathering, Involvement of/Consultation with Stakeholder Groups - key questions

1. What does the evidence tell you?

In-work poverty has been increasing steadily and is now the highest rate since reporting began in 1994/95, both before and after housing costs.

While the overall number of children living in relative poverty Before Housing Costs ( BHC) has fallen over recent years, a greater proportion were living in working households. The fact that 110 thousand children remained in in-work poverty BHC in 2014/15, despite the overall number falling over time, means they make up a larger percentage of those in poverty BHC.

The increase in in-work poverty reflects increases in the number of working households, and the decrease in the number of workless households in Scotland. However, increases in part-time employment, especially for women, combined with withdrawal of benefit income as earnings increase, mean that the majority of working age adults and children in poverty were in working households in 2014/15.

These trends demonstrate that further and cohesive action must be taken to tackle child poverty and that including in statute targets to reduce poverty amongst children will be a key driver to success.

2. What further data or evidence is required?

National poverty statistics and research conducted by the IFS demonstrate the scale of the issue faced, other research specifically focused on other aspects of children's lives i.e. re poverty and attainment etc also provide support for the ambition to reduce child poverty.

No further research is required on this subject.

3. Has there been any consultation on the development of the proposal(s)?

Consultation with key stakeholders have been conducted in order to formulate proposals for the income targets and delivery plan, this included the Ministerial Advisory Group on Child Poverty.

A full public consultation and workshop with local authority poverty leads will be conducted to gain insight from a wide range of sources. See also with children and young people, as below.

4. Should children and young people be further involved in the development of this policy? Are there particular groups of children and young people whose views should be sought?

Children and young people will participate in policy development through a proposed consultation event hosted by the Scottish Youth Parliament ( SYP), this event will be discussed with the SYP in due course and we will seek advice from them on the best format.

* The above noted event was conducted in September 2016, the questions asked were as below;

Section 1 - Understanding poverty

1. What does the word 'poverty' mean to you and your constituents?

2. What factors do you think contributes to poverty?

3. What do you think are the barriers to getting out of poverty?

4. Do you think the government should set a target for ending poverty? If so do you think this should be written into law?

Section 2 - Measuring poverty

1. What types of things could be considered when assessing what "living in poverty" means?

2. What do you think are the most important ones? Why?

3. What are your thoughts on the proposal to measure poverty by income? Is there anything else you think should be included in this approach?

4. What do you think the pros and cons are of measuring poverty before housing costs or after housing costs?

5. Do you think poverty should be measured before or after housing costs?

Section 3 - Tackling poverty

1. What realistic targets do you think should be set for tackling child poverty in Scotland?

2. What do you think the timeframe should be for achieving these goals? Mark along the way how often you think there should be a report on the progress of this and how do you think this could be done?

3. Do you have any ideas on how child poverty should be tackled in Scotland?

4. How should young people be involved in efforts to tackle poverty at a local and national level? (prompt egs. a direct continuous young person's input like having a young person sit on the advisory group, creating a dedicated position for someone to represent young people's views, conducting regular consultations, and then give space for an 'other' option where people can write their own ideas.

5. Should other stakeholders and experts be further involved in the development of this policy?

A full public consultation will be conducted, key stakeholders and interest groups will be encouraged to respond along with additional media notifications to encourage public response.

Further advice will be sought from the Independent Advisor on Poverty and Inequality and from Local Authority Poverty leads.


Email: Gillian Cross

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