Information

Minimum Income Guarantee Steering Group: the Expert Group’s work-plan - December 2021 meeting paper

Paper 3 related to the December meeting of the Minimum Income Guarantee Steering Group.


The most recent work-plan paper, provided as a paper for the Expert Group meeting of 9 December 2021, is set out at pages 3 to 7 of this document.

Background

The work-plan has been developed with the aim of delivering the remit set for the group. An earlier version, and accompanying ways of working, was discussed at the October meeting of the Expert Group. The present version was developed following input from members, who asked for items on uprating, dependencies on the UK system, piloting and evaluation and equalities to be added to the draft plan.

The workplan sets out the workstreams that are proposed to run over the next two years, which will be the key drivers of specific pieces of work around a Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG). Workstreams will be formed of sub groups of expert Group members. The way of working acknowledges that taking forward work towards a MIG will rely upon involvement from a variety of experts and stakeholders, and workstreams will be able to seek engagement with groups and agencies who are not represented on the core group. Input from people with lived experience will also be sought.

Next steps

At the December meeting, members asked for some revisions to the language of workplan around equalities. These changes will be made and an updated copy will be recirculated before the end of the year.

 

In advance of the December meeting, individual Expert Group members had been approached to ask them to become leads / key members of specific workstreams. The assignment of members to workstreams will now be finalised, and initial meetings of workstreams set up, with the intention that workstreams will meet between Expert Group meetings, which they will then report back to.

No decisions are required of the Strategy Group at this stage. The Group will wish to note the proposed workstreams and ways of working and consider whether these are appropriate in line with the remit set for the Group, and whether there are any gaps or particular areas for prioritisation.

Minimum Income Guarantee Workplan

Key ways of workstream working

  • The overall aim of the workstreams is to progress the remit of the group.
  • Workstreams report back to the Expert Group, who can look at the big picture, make links, mitigate any pressures and difficulties, and ensure the work of the group as a whole is coherent. This will also ensure consistency when providing the group’s advice and recommendations. The Strategy Group will then, in turn, review the outputs of the Expert Group.
  • The work of the workstreams can and likely will overlap.
  • Secretariat support will be provided to organise meetings and develop papers and outputs from the workstreams.
  • Workstreams can run simultaneously – after taking into consideration dependencies on outputs of other workstreams, capacity of members to participate and the secretariat to support.
  • Every workstream will need at least two or three ‘required’ members with all expert group members ‘optional’ – meaning members are free to take part in workstreams as their interest and capacity allows. This will be based on members’ areas of interest, experience and expertise. Identifying and utilising the skills and experience that group members bring flows from a key principle of ensuring efficiency and effectiveness.
  • External people and organisations can be brought in as necessary, including experts by experience – all workstreams will be tasked with considering who else is needed.
  • The whole group will agree MIG principles – to be applied across all workstreams – a principles paper will be considered at the December 2021 meeting. This is scheduled as the first piece of work to agree on and will ensure each workstream is working to a coherent set of principles as to what a MIG is and what it is not. This can be thought of as ‘workstream zero’ because it needs to be completed in advance of the majority of other workstreams’ work getting too far underway.
  • All workstreams to establish their approach to equalities in accordance with the output of the equalities workstream (see below).
  • All workstreams to establish their approach to direct experience / general public.

Building on the draft plan from the October 2021 Expert Group meeting

At the October meeting, suggestions were made for addition of the following to the draft workplan:

  • Approaches for updating and uprating Minimum Income Standards – this has been added to workstream 2 on setting a MIG level.
  • Mapping out dependencies on UK systems – this has been added to workstream 6 on steps to MIG through existing powers.
  • Piloting – including building in evaluation at an early stage. In acknowledgement of members’ experience of the need to begin this type of work early, we have brought this workstream forward to begin in year 1.
  • Equalities – it was clear from group discussion that the needs of protected characteristic groups need to be considered in every workstream. A separate workstream for equalities will be formed (workstream 1). Its initial work will be of short duration, to establish principles that will apply across all workstreams and develop a living document which will inform the work of every workstream. Its ongoing work would be to maintain that document.

 

MIG Workstreams

Work stream number

Workstream name

Year 1

Year 2

Beyond

Notes

 

Design

      0.

MIG principles

X

 

 

Document to be produced for December 2021 meeting. If members are content to sign off the document at that meeting, and the Strategy Group thereafter, this workstream will be considered concluded at that point. If further work is required we will convene a rapid workstream to conclude the work.

 

 

  1.  

Equalities

X

X

 

This is different in nature to other workstreams as it’s about building a living document with a repository of questions and answers, so may not need many meetings beyond an initial one. Then mainstreaming across all streams and keeping the document up to date.

 

  1.  

MIG level

X

 

 

  • Members would need to consider the need for commissioning
  • What should a MIS be in Scotland in general, for different household types in Scotland (including priority families)?
  • Any geographical variations
  • Should a MIG cover 100% of MIS for all, or less for all (or some)?
  • How should housing, caring, childcare and disability costs be considered as part of a MIG?
  • Approaches for updating and uprating Minimum Income Standards

 

 

  1.  

Delivering a MIG – social security

X

 

 

  • How should MIG need be assessed?
  • How should MIG be paid?
  • Are there options for a time-limited MIG as part of roll-out?
  • Would a pilot or roll-out prioritise some groups first (carers, care experienced, priority families etc.)?

 

 

  1.  

Delivering a MIG – work

X

 

 

  • What role can reform of the world of work have in delivering a MIG in Scotland?
  • What impact could increased pay and guaranteed hours have on delivering a MIG?
  • What contribution should employers make to a MIG?
  • Would a MIG have an effect on wages (positive or negative), and if so from what level?
  • Would a MIG have other effects on work including incentives in relation to pay, hours and progression?

 

 

  1.  

Cost and impact of MIG

 

X

 

  • Commissioning is likely to be required, either Scottish Government or external
  • Set out costings for a range of MIG levels and range of designs
  • Carry out an analysis of the potential impacts of these on poverty (including priority families), inequality and destitution
  • Consider whether any macro-analysis is possible

 

 

Delivery

  1.  

Steps to MIG through existing powers

 

X

 

  • Consider income adequacy and income security
  • Consider work and cost-side aspects of MIG
  • Identify steps which could be taken over the next few years

 

 

  1.  

Further powers to deliver a MIG

 

X

 

  • Commissioning is likely to be required, either Scottish Government or external
  • Consider legislative powers on social security
  • Consider employment law
  • Look at pathways to implementation and delivery through different agencies
  • Consider tax and borrowing.

 

 

  1.  

Paying for a MIG

 

X

 

  • Commissioning is likely to be required, either Scottish Government or external
  • Consider tax and borrowing

 

 

  1.  

Piloting and evaluating a MIG

X

X

 

  • Year 1 needs to wait for progress from workstreams 1-4
  • External commissioning may be required
  • Explore the feasibility of piloting a MIG through existing powers

 

 

  1.  

A MIG implementation plan

 

 

X

  • First steps to a MIG under existing powers
  • Next steps with further flexibility/powers
  • Final steps towards a full MIG

 

 

Public opinion

  1.  

Public opinion around MIG

X

X

 

  • Consider the need to commission externally
  • Direct experience around MIG
  • Polling and other work with general public on their views, framing and gaining support for a MIG (polling, focus groups, panels and assemblies to be considered)
  • Explore polling and other work being carried out by external organisations
  • Identify external organisations that could be well-placed to undertake this work
  • Make internal Scottish Government links to support this

 

 

 

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