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.

National Priorities

Policy Prospectus: Equality, opportunity, community: New leadership - A fresh start

In April 2023 the new First Minister set out a vision for Scotland and the outcomes he and his government aim to achieve by 2026. This set out three critical, and inter dependent missions for the government:

  • Equality: Tackling poverty and protecting people from harm.
  • Opportunity: Building a fair, green and growing economy.
  • Community: Delivering efficient and effective public services.

Programme for Government (PfG)

Every year, the ‘Programme for Government’ sets out the Scottish Government's aims for the coming year. The budget then allocates money to support these goals. The 2023-24 Programme for Government focused on delivering the three missions. The PfG set out actions to be taken by each government portfolio.

As part of the process of developing this year’s ‘Programme for Government’ we introduced a revised and more comprehensive process to review the Equality and Fairer Scotland implications of decisions. While all individual policies are subject to the full range of impact assessments, this considered a summary of cumulative impacts at portfolio level.

National Performance Framework

Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF) is our wellbeing framework. The eleven ‘National Outcomes’ set out a vision of what wellbeing means for the people of Scotland and enable everyone to work towards these shared goals. Our commitment to the three missions of equality, opportunity and community, as laid out in the recent ‘Policy Prospectus’, will contribute towards all the National Outcomes, taking us towards a country that prioritises wellbeing for all.

A review of the National Outcomes is underway and is due to complete in 2024.

Human Rights

Human rights are the basic rights and freedoms that belong to everyone. There are many rights and freedoms that come under this umbrella including civil and political, as well as economic and social rights. For example, these rights include the right to adequate living standards and the best standard of health care. In the portfolio sections below we have set out which human rights are most applicable to the portfolio. This illustrates how the budget content aligns to key human rights.

Human rights should influence the process of setting the Budget, alongside the content of the Budget. In our response to the recommendations to the Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group, mentioned above, we have shown how embedding the Human Rights principles of Transparency, Participation and Accountability has, and will increasingly continue to, inform the Budget.



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