Fairer Scotland Duty - Public Services Reform (Poverty and Inequality Commission) (Scotland) Order 2018
Fairer Scotland Duty Results Template
Title of Policy or Programme
Public Services Reform (Poverty and Inequality Commission) (Scotland) Order 2018
Summary of aims and expected outcomes of strategy, proposal, programme or policy
The Public Services Reform (Poverty and Inequality Commission) (Scotland) Order 2018 amends the remit and membership of the Poverty and Inequality Commission established within the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017.
The Order expands the remit beyond the narrow focus on child poverty, and will improve the exercise of public functions, having regard to efficiency, effectiveness and economy, by allowing a single statutory body to provide the wide range of independent advice on poverty and inequality.
The Order will come into force, if approved, on 1 July 2019, allowing the statutory body to transition from the existing non-statutory Commission.
Summary of evidence
Draft copies of the Order and explanatory material were sent by Scottish Ministers to impacted or interested stakeholders including; the existing Poverty and Inequality Commission (established by Ministers on 3 July 2017); Oxfam Scotland; Child Poverty Action Group ( CPAG); Poverty Alliance; the Equality and Human Rights Commission ( EHRC); and all members of the former Ministerial Advisory Group on Child Poverty.
Comments were received from the existing Commission, Oxfam Scotland, Poverty Alliance, CPAG Scotland, EHRC and COSLA.
Stakeholders have warmly welcomed the draft Order. For example, both CPAG and the Poverty Alliance have confirmed that they are satisfied with the draft Order and will be seeking no further changes to it.
Oxfam Scotland confirms that the draft Order fulfils their initial expectations, and welcomes the constructive nature in which they have been able to input into its development.
EHRC are supportive of the Order and have not made any comments, however have expressed that once established, the Commission would benefit from a working definition of what ‘ inequality’ means.
“from EHRC’s point of view, equality relates to the 9 protected characterises set out in the equality act, and inequality is concerned with socio economic deprivation and poverty. Clearly there is a significant cross over of people in both categories, but the reasons for women and men, or disabled and non-disabled people being in poverty, may be very different.”
A few minor comments were made, and these have been considered within the final draft of the Order.
For example, the existing Commission has recommended that the Order is amended to include direct experience of poverty and inequality as one of the skills criteria which the Commission as a whole is required to fulfil. The Scottish Government has revised the Order to make this explicit.
Summary of assessment findings
The expanded remit of the Commission will allow the body to look more broadly at poverty in the round and consider issues relating to equality groups at greater risk of poverty.
The amended membership of the group allows for greater representation from a range of interests.
Through amending the skills and experience that the Commission must have as a whole, to include direct experience of poverty, this reinforces the importance of lived experience, and will assist in ensuring the Commission provide robust advice.
Following stakeholder consultation, a final draft of the PSR Order will now be laid. The Order will broaden the remit of the Commission to include poverty and inequality more widely.
The experience and knowledge provisions set out in the Act will also be amended through this Order, ensuring that the Commission as a whole is required to have experience of poverty and inequality, and that Ministers take into account when recommending people for appointment to the Commission whether they have direct experience of poverty or inequality.
(by Deputy Director
Name: Shirley Laing
Job title: Deputy Director