Scottish Budget 2024 to 2025: equality and fairer Scotland statement

Assesses where the Scottish Government is proposing to spend public money and how it aims to reduce inequality. It is a supporting document to the Scottish Budget and should be read alongside associated Budget publications.

Social Justice

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
  • Poverty
  • Children & Young People

Key human rights:

  • Article 8: Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence
  • Article 9: Freedom of thought, belief and religion
  • Article 14: Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms
  • an adequate standard of living
  • social security
  • freedom of thought, religion and expression
  • equality and non-discrimination

Summary of how our budget impacts on equality and Fairer Scotland

We will invest £6.3 billion in Scottish Government benefits and payments in 2024-25, supporting over 1.2 million people, including the ‘Carer Support Payment’, a benefit which will help tackle inequalities around sex, and the ‘Scottish Child Payment’, improving the lives of over 300,000 children in low-income families across Scotland in 2024-25, and lifting an estimated 50,000 children out of relative poverty in 2023-24. Our disability benefits help mitigate the additional daily living or mobility costs that disabled people may have as a result of a disability or long-term health condition.

The budget will also support implementation of our second Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, ‘Best Start, Bright Futures’, supporting families at greatest risk of poverty. Our ‘Cash First Programme’ will help reduce the demand for emergency food parcels. The budget will also support income maximisation, welfare and debt advice services, supporting at least 40,000 people with free debt advice including in education, health and community settings.

The budget will support ‘Discretionary Housing Payments’, which are a vital tool to safeguard tenancies and prevent homelessness among low income households.

Funding for the Directorate of Equality, Inclusion and Human Rights has a direct benefit. This includes the ‘Equality and Human Rights Fund’ which supports organisations to deliver direct work tackling inequality and discrimination. It supports infrastructure support and policy work, across Human rights and also in areas of protected characteristics. It also includes funding for initiatives and organisations that directly support the integration of newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland, as well as the provision of ongoing support for those who require it.



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