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Equality and Fairer Scotland Budget Statement 2022-2023

The Equality and Fairer Scotland Budget Statement (EFSBS) 2022-23 assesses where the Scottish Government is proposing to spend public money and how it aims to reduce inequality. The EFSBS is a supporting document to the Scottish Budget and should be read alongside associated Budget publications.

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Budget areas

Constitution, External Affairs & Culture

Budget purpose:

Enhance Scotland's reputation, increase prosperity and wellbeing, and promote Scotland as a great place to live, visit, work, study, and do business.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Communities
  • International
  • Culture

Key human rights:

  • Right to take part in cultural life
  • Right to freedom of expression
  • Right to an adequate standard of living

Impact on Equality & Fairer Scotland:

Spend on culture and heritage enables funded organisations to deliver an active programme of cultural activity and events that take into account the preferences and circumstances of groups on lower incomes and who experience structural disadvantage, in order to improve access and inclusion. The International Development Fund budget will increase from £10 million to £11.5 million. The £500,000 budget for the former Small Grants pilot programme will be reoriented towards the new Women and Girls Empowerment Fund. This aims to promote women and girls' equality and support their rights, including seeking to provide more funding directly in-country to smaller local civil society organisations. £980,000 is allocated to the Migration Strategy Fund and £1 million to the Humanitarian Emergency Fund.

Deputy First Minister & COVID Recovery

Budget purpose:

Support the delivery of the COVID Recovery Strategy, establish and support the COVID-19 Scottish Public Inquiry, co-ordinate policy on elections, freedom of information, inter-governmental relations, Cabinet business and the legislative programme, build Scotland's resilience to hazards and threats, and support participation and public service reform.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Communities

Key human rights:

  • Right to free elections
  • Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • Right to freedom of expression
  • Right to an adequate standard of living
  • Right to non-discrimination in the exercise of all of these rights

Impact on Equality & Fairer Scotland:

£3.15 million of spend on 2022 local government elections will help to progress equality of participation in democracy. It will aim to increase voter registration and active participation in elections by under-represented groups, including young people and non‑UK citizens. This spend will also fund trials of a potential digital solution to enable people with sight loss to vote independently and in secret, as well as new data collection on the diversity of election candidates.

This budget will support the establishment of the COVID-19 Scottish Public Inquiry which is expected to take a person-centred, human rights based approach. Evidence, monitoring and co-ordination will continue to underpin cross-government work on COVID-19 response and recovery with a strong equality focus.

Education & Skills

Budget purpose:

Change children and young people's lives for the better in and beyond educational settings and ensure that all children and young people are able to reach their full potential.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Education
  • Children & Young People

Key human rights:

  • Right to education
  • Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • Right to an adequate standard of living
  • Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education

Impact on Equality & Fairer Scotland:

This spend is targeted to tackle differences in development and attainment for people experiencing disadvantage. It will deliver the expanded statutory entitlement of funded early learning and childcare hours to make sure that all children get the best possible start in life. We will also continue to invest in the Scottish Attainment Challenge to give children and young people from the most deprived backgrounds the best life chances.

The Higher Education Student Support budget will continue to provide bursaries and access to student loans and free tuition for young people and adult learners. This will help them to access education and support them into future employment.

Finance & the Economy

Budget purpose:

Support sectors and businesses in their transition out of the pandemic into recovery. Support and strengthen the labour market, promote fair work practices and investment in a diverse workforce, and support investment in low carbon businesses and infrastructure. Co-ordinate an outcomes-focused approach including the focus set out in the NPF, and set public pay, pension and tax policy.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Economy
  • International
  • Fair Work & Business
  • Environment

Key human rights:

  • Right to work (and to work in just and favourable conditions)
  • Right to an adequate standard of living
  • Rights for women, minority ethnic groups, disabled people, children

Impact on Equality & Fairer Scotland:

Spend on fair work and employability policies aims to reduce employment barriers for people with protected characteristics or experiencing socio-economic disadvantage. It also helps to tackle the causes of child poverty by supporting parents into fair employment.

Investment to protect and support businesses aims to advance equality and reduce socio-economic disadvantage.

We continue to pursue a more equal and fairer Scotland when delivering core Scottish Government functions such as the Scottish Budget. We will continue to use our powers over income tax in a progressive manner, aiming to protect taxpayers on low incomes and raise revenue to fund high-quality public services for all.

Health & Social Care

Budget purpose:

Improve population health and tackle health inequality.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Health
  • Children & Young People
  • Human Rights

Key human rights:

  • Right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
  • Right to an adequate standard of living
  • Right to a healthy environment
  • Right to benefit from healthy ecosystems that sustain human wellbeing
  • Right to access to information
  • Right to participation in decision-making
  • Right of access to justice

Impact on Equality & Fairer Scotland:

The Health and Social Care budget has the potential for significant positive impacts for people with protected characteristics and those experiencing socio-economic disadvantage. Spend on mental health, on tackling alcohol, drugs, tobacco and obesity, and on workforce is likely to help tackle inequality and improve the population's health. The budget funds a number of groups to provide a wide range of equality expertise and lived experience to support policy development and service design.

Justice & Veterans

Budget purpose:

Keep our communities safe and secure, support veterans, and manage justice in its different forms: civil, criminal and administrative.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Communities
  • Human Rights

Key human rights:

  • Right to liberty and security of person
  • Right to a fair trial
  • Right to freedom from punishment without law

Impact on Equality & Fairer Scotland:

Funding for justice partners, such as Police, is 78% of this budget (£2.5 billion). This will contribute to preventing crime, reducing re-offending and ensuring an effective system of civil law. It includes investment in Legal Aid, which is an important source of access to justice for individuals. This helps to protect and support various groups – including women, children, the LGBT community and older people – from crime, accidental harm and civil disputes.

Along with our Recover, Renew and Transform work, this spend will maintain and develop an accessible and effective justice system that can help to tackle inequality. It is for justice partners to allocate their budgets in line with equality law.

Net Zero, Energy & Transport

Budget purpose:

Make sure that Scotland's economy achieves net zero carbon emissions. Protect and enhance our environment, natural resources and transport infrastructure. Support public transport, roads, accessible transport and active travel and lead on strategic infrastructure planning.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Poverty
  • Children & Young People
  • Environment

Key human rights:

  • Right to an adequate standard of living
  • Right to a healthy environment
  • Right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health

Impact on Equality & Fairer Scotland:

Continued investment in public transport will make sure that those groups of people who are more reliant on public transport can continue to access key services, employment and education. For example, women, older people, younger people and those on lower incomes use bus services more. This budget also supports lifeline air and ferry services, which are essential for island communities. There will be more funding for walking, cycling and wheeling which is important in changing travel behaviours and making low cost, accessible travel available for everyone. More active travel will also have a positive impact on health inequality.

This budget also funds work to address the twin challenges of decarbonising our energy supply and tackling fuel poverty. This is particularly important for groups such as disabled people, older people, lone parents and those on lower incomes who are more affected by fuel poverty and energy costs.

Rural Affairs & Islands

Budget purpose:

Support rural, island and coastal communities in Scotland, as well as Scottish Government's overarching ambition to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Economy
  • Communities
  • Fair Work & Business
  • Environment

Key human rights:

  • Right to protection of property
  • Right to an adequate standard of living
  • Right to take part in cultural life
  • Right to a healthy environment

Impact on Equality & Fairer Scotland:

This budget addresses issues around rural disadvantage through supporting traditional rural industries, including agriculture and fishing, and through direct funding to community groups to support rural development. This spend does not tend to reduce inequality for groups with protected characteristics. However, it will help support the incomes of those on who would otherwise make losses in these industries.

Financial support for farmers may help keep food prices affordable although evidence on this is limited. More broadly, there is currently limited data on the impacts of this budget on groups experiencing disadvantage.

Social Justice, Housing & Local Government

Budget purpose:

Create a fairer Scotland, tackle poverty and especially child poverty, deliver affordable housing, and promote equality and human rights.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Communities
  • Human Rights
  • Children & Young People
  • Poverty

Key human rights:

  • Right to respect for private and family life, home and correspondence
  • Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion
  • Right to an adequate standard of living
  • Right to a health environment
  • Right to social security and social protection
  • Right to non-discrimination

Impact on Equality & Fairer Scotland:

The £10 million child poverty budget will drive progress on tackling child poverty. It supports equality for women with children and a focus on priority families, including minority ethnic and single parent families and families where someone is disabled. Increased expenditure on social security will go towards doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 per week, bringing the total investment for this to £197 million. It will also deliver Child Bridging Payments for children on low incomes.

Over £8 million will support organisations tackling inequality and discrimination and advancing the realisation of human rights in Scotland. £10 million from our Ending Homelessness Together Fund and £3.44 billion for affordable and social homes will directly address socio-economic inequality. £11 million will be spent on supporting home adaptations for housing association tenants, helping address housing inequality for disabled people.

Funding for local authorities is allocated with a needs-based formula and local authorities decide how to spend this.

Contact

Email: liz.hawkins@gov.scot

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