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.

Deputy First Minister and Finance

Budget Purpose

Deliver the Scottish Budget, manage public finances, fiscal policy and taxation, including income tax, coordinate public service reform. Also responsible for local government finance and the Verity House Agreement, and sponsorship of several public inquiries.

Primary national outcomes:

  • Communities
  • Economy
  • Poverty
  • Environment
  • Fair work and business

Key human rights:

  • Article 4: Freedom from slavery and forced labour
  • Article 9: Freedom of thought, belief and religion
  • Article 10: Freedom of expression
  • Article 14: Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms
  • Protocol 1, Article 3: Right to participate in free elections
  • Fair and just conditions of work
  • An adequate standard of living
  • Equality and non-discrimination

Summary of how our budget impacts on equality and Fairer Scotland

This portfolio provides strategic oversight, coordination and leadership for cross-government activity. This portfolio supports effective and efficient delivery of activity in other portfolios which directly and indirectly tackle inequalities.

The portfolio is responsible for ensuring sound and sustainable public finances. This includes delivering a balanced budget, and setting and monitoring tax policy and portfolio spending plans.

In setting the overall Scottish Government Budget, this portfolio is responsible for ensuring that tax and spending decisions deliver the best possible outcomes, and are taken in line with our equality and Fairer Budgeting requirements. This year, we are improving the analysis that supports these requirements by publishing a detailed analysis of the distributional and equalities impacts of tax and social security policy decisions. Setting multi-year spending plans in this Budget also allows individual portfolios and Scottish Government overall to consider the equalities impacts of our spending choices over a longer time horizon.

The portfolio is also responsible for funding Local Government, and developing a stronger partnership through the Verity House Agreement. Funding for Local Government takes account of demographics, disadvantage and various other considerations and allocates resources based on relative need, including age, disability, and levels of deprivation.

The portfolio is also responsible for a ten-year programme of public service reform, leading work across government to deliver the ‘Whole Family Wellbeing investment’, and supporting ‘Community Wealth Building’, all of which will support activity across government to reduce inequality.



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