Fairer Scotland action plan: progress report 2019

Progress made on the Fairer Scotland action plan published in 2016.


The Scottish Government made a commitment to provide the Scottish Parliament with an annual report on progress made in relation to the Fairer Scotland Action Plan[6] (FSAP) published in 2016.  This report follows similar reports published in 2017 and 2018. 

FSAP is built on five high-level ambitions that we will continue to focus on in the period to 2030: a fairer Scotland for all; ending child poverty; a strong start for all young people; fairer working lives; and a thriving third age.  It contains 50 actions that we will take across this parliamentary term with a call to everyone to create a fairer, more equal society.  The action plan supports the vision for a fair, smart, inclusive Scotland, where everyone can feel at home.  It also sets out our ambition for a country where poverty rates are amongst the lowest in Europe, and where there is genuine equality of opportunity for all by 2030. 

In addition this progress report provides an update on the actions taken in relation to two reports published by the then Independent Poverty and Inequality Advisor, Naomi Eisenstadt.  Shifting the Curve[7] (StC), published in 2016, details 15 recommendations for the Scottish Government and others to help shift the curve on poverty and reduce poverty levels in Scotland significantly. 

One recommendation from this report was to review the life chances of young people in Scotland.  A review carried out by Scottish Government analysts, published in July 2017[8], formed the basis of Naomi’s second report.  The Life Chances of Young People in Scotland[9] (Life Chances) was published in 2017 and offers 18 further recommendations on how to best support young people aged 16-24, regardless of their background.  These recommendations are focused on ensuring young people have the best start in adult life and helping to create the conditions that provides them with the best chances of success.  This progress report provides the first update on progress made against the Life Chances report recommendations.

Rather than publishing three separate updates, we have produced a single thematic progress report.  This provides an update on all 50 actions and 33 recommendations which reflects the cross-government work that is taking place to challenge inequality and increase fairness.  The themes in the progress report are:

  • Employment, including youth employment
  • Education and childcare
  • Housing
  • Social security and benefit up-take
  • Social policy
  • Equality
  • Health, including mental health

Each theme has its own section which begins with a strategic overview that sets out the Scottish Government’s aims and ambitions in this area.  This is followed by the relevant actions or recommendations from the three reports along with the progress we have made against these. 

There are some actions and recommendations which do not fit into any of the themes listed above.  A separate update is provided on these towards the end of the progress report under ‘Other actions’.

We have also provided a table which sets out our progress at a glance, offering a quick overview of the current status of the actions or recommendations across all three reports.  The actions and recommendations were short, medium and longer term up to 2030 and therefore we have used the following key:

Completed Action or recommendation completed
In progress Progress on the action or recommendation
Continuous programme of work Some recommendations or actions ask us to ‘do more’ or ‘improve’ with no clear end point.  These are defined as continuous
Early stages of delivery Initial phases of delivery


Email: sjsu@gov.scot

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