Equally Well: Report of the Ministerial Task Force on Health Inequalities

This is the report of the Ministerial Task Force on Health Inequalities


Key points:

  • The Task Force has identified areas where the Scottish Government does not presently have the power to make maximum impact on health inequalities.
  • Areas include tax and benefits, employment policy and health and safety.

The Task Force has looked mainly at what we can do in Scotland with the powers the Scottish Government currently has. There are, however, some examples of policy and action which are critical to reducing health inequalities, but where the Government does not have sufficient powers for maximum impact. Within its priority areas for action, the Task Force has identified the following issues. These should be pursued through the process set up by the Government's National Conversation about Scotland's constitutional future:

  • Tax and benefits issues relevant to tackling poverty and deprivation, including housing benefit and support that allows parents access to childcare.
  • Devolution of tax and benefits matters could also have an impact on fuel poverty. More control over energy markets would give the option of a different approach towards influencing customer fuel prices for the most vulnerable.
  • Aspects of employment policy and benefits that could create a more seamless set of employment arrangements supporting people to move towards and into the labour market. Education, training and skills, childcare, health and social care all link with improving employability and are already devolved.
  • Aspects of health and safety legislation that interact with devolved responsibilities for workplace health and wellbeing.
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