Minimum Income Guarantee Steering Group: remit

Remit of the Minimum Income Guarantee Steering Group.


In order to progress delivery of a minimum income guarantee, the Scottish Government has established a Minimum Income Guarantee Steering Group. The steering group comprises an independently chaired expert group and a strategy group. The expert group will be drawn from organisations and individuals with knowledge and experience relevant to the design and delivery of a minimun income guarantee. The strategy group will be political representatives and will be nominated by each party present in the Scottish Parliament.


The primary purposes of the steering group are to define a minimum income guarantee for Scotland and to identify and prioritise action for further development and testing during the course of this Parliament. This is to support the delivery of a minimun income guarantee within current devolved powers. The steering group may also consider what further powers may be sought in order to build on that action in the longer term, and will keep under review relevant policy thinking and developments outside of Scotland.

The steering group will undertake relevant evidence gathering and analysis to support its conclusions. That will include reviewing outputs of an initial stakeholder feedback exercise commissioned by the Scottish Government. 

Meetings of the overall steering group membership will be chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, and and Russell Gunson, Head of Programmes and Practice at The Robertson Trust.


Expert Group

Russell Gunson, Chair, Head of Programmes and Practice, The Robertson Trust

The other members of the group are  representatives from relevant organisations. 

The group have recruited members who are experts by lived experience.

Strategy Group

Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP, Chair, Scottish National Party

Scottish Conservative Party
Scottish Green Party
Scottish Labour Party
Scottish Liberal Democrat Party

Other members of the group 


To help achieve the aims of the steering group, the remit of the expert group is to:

  • review the outputs of the initial phase of stakeholder engagement arising from the Scottish Government’s commitment to “invite all groups and organisations supportive of a minimum income guarantee to start planning how this can be delivered”
  • prepare and take forward a work-plan covering the following matters:
    • definition and scope of a minimum income guarantee
    • work required to determine thresholds of a minimum income guarantee
    • what could be achieved through existing powers, including but not exclusively, social security powers
    • priorities for implementation and prospective timetable for delivery
    • what could be achieved in the longer term if more powers were devolved
    • innovative approaches to further evidence-gathering and engagement, including public participation to ensure widespread awareness of and opportunity to contribute to the work

The expert group’s work-plan will take into consideration practical implications around legislation and resources, including financial and delivery considerations. As noted below the work-plan will be agreed by the strategy group.

In order to help achieve the aims of the steering group, the remit of the strategy group is to:

  • act as champions to promote awareness of, and support for, the work of the steering group
  • agree the steering group work-plan and review progress and outputs from it, including priorities for delivery and approach to devolution of further powers
  • attend key meetings of the expert group and, as necessary, meet separately from it to receive regular updates and review the work-plan and progress in delivery
  • from time to time take stock to ensure that the overall remit and membership of the expert group remains fit for purpose; and
  • participate, as appropriate, in engagement activity taken forward under the work-plan

Timing and ways of working

The steering group, with the expert and strategy groups present, will meet no less than twice a year.

The expert group will:

  • meet no less than quarterly. The actual schedule of meetings will be determined as soon as possible following formation of the Group by the Chair, in consultation with the Group members. Any matters which need to be decided on outwith the schedule of meetings may be dealt with by correspondence
  • may form separate work-streams as appropriate. Such work-streams may be led by members of the Group or by one or more individuals who are not members of the Group, but who have been invited by the Group to undertake or lead a specified programme of work
  • may commission research and analysis, which will be undertaken by Scottish Government analysts or externally where appropriate. Commissioning of external analysis will be subject to budget availability and appropriate tendering processes
  • may continue until the end of this Parliamentary session depending on progress, but a review will be conducted after 24 months to ensure that the remit and membership remain fit for purpose

The strategy group will meet at no fewer than two times a year, in order to fill its remit of reviewing the work of the expert group in a timely manner.

Accountability, governance and support

  • the steering group is not established on a statutory basis. It is, therefore, not subject to the formal public appointments process and the requirements of the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies in Scotland. Members are appointed by Scottish Ministers
  • meetings will normally be attended by named members only. If members wish to send a substitute this should be agreed by prior agreement with the Chair of their respective group
  • observers may attend meetings with the prior agreement of the Chair of the respective Group. Observers can contribute to discussions but will not take a part in the decision making processes of the steering group
  • attendance of eight members will be considered quorate
  • membership invited in an organisational capacity will not be remunerated
  • decision making will be as far as possible by consensus, or by majority if consensus is not reached, with Chairs having a casting vote if necessary
  • secretariat support will be provided by Scottish Government officials
  • members of the expert group may be appointed on the basis of the expertise and interests of identified individuals, organisations and sectors and will work collectively ensuring that expertise and those interests are fully represented. Individual membership will be reviewed in light of any relevant change in circumstances i.e. change in job role or organisation
  • the expert group will include at least one member who is an expert by lived experience. Such members will be decided upon by the expert group chair, and may be drawn from the Poverty and Inequality Commission’s recently established living experience panels, or identified by another suitable mechanism. Members of the expert group who are recruited as individuals on the basis of their lived experience will have reasonable expenses met, and will be thanked for their time through vouchers
  • members of the strategy group are representatives of their political party, nominated by their party leader

Communications and information sharing

  • it is important that the work of the steering group is open to, and welcomes, public scrutiny. The Secretariat will assist the Chairs in ensuring that information about the steering group’s work is communicated to interested parties and is accessible to the public. This may include Scottish Government media and press releases as appropriate
  • the remit, minutes of the meetings and any papers produced by the steering group will be published on the Scottish Government website
  • the Secretariat will ensure that requests for information are dealt with in accordance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA) and the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs). In order to assist in ensuring that requests can be responded to accurately and timeously, Group members are asked to ensure that the secretariat is copied in to all formal correspondence and exchanges of information
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