Race equality action plan: final report

Progress made on the actions in the Race Equality Action Plan 2017 to 2021 and action taken to tackle race inequality in response to the 2020 to 2021 COVID-19 pandemic as well as action from 2021 onwards to implement the aims of the Race Equality Framework 2016-2030.

Annex E – Poverty

These annexes provide updates on all original actions from the Race Equality Action Plan followed by updates on the reprioritised and refocused actions from the end of Year 2. Additional activity in Year 3 that has taken place in response to either COVID-19 or Black Lives Matter is then captured.

Action status categorisation is as follows

  • Complete*
  • Ongoing**
  • Paused
  • Reprioritised

*We cannot see this work as being done just because an action has been completed within a timeframe. For some actions, the marking of a status as complete may mean that the specific one-off action as originally proposed has been undertaken however work continues in this area and this is reflected in the update.

** Actions may be marked as 'ongoing' for the same reason. Much of the work reflected in these annexes is long-term in nature and continues beyond the end of the REAP.

Year 1 only
Action Action Status Update
The Child Poverty Measurement Framework, which is currently being revised in consultation with stakeholder groups, will give due consideration to the experiences and issues faced by minority ethnic groups living in poverty. Complete The first annual progress report on Every Child Every Chance was published in June 2019 and includes an Annex on Child Poverty In Minority Ethnic Families. It presents ethnicity breakdowns, where possible, for the 4 child poverty target measures and the 23 indicators in the Child Poverty Measurement Framework. It also draws on wider evidence about the drivers of poverty, and draws conclusions about the actions needed to address poverty among minority ethnic families.
We will work with minority ethnic volunteers on Experience Panels to help shape the social security system, hearing directly from them about what works, what needs improved and what our new system can do to better support ethnic minorities in Scotland. Complete The Social Security Experience Panels research programme asked panel members to provide demographic information, including their ethnicity. 2 per cent of panel members who have responded to this question said that they belonged to a non-white minority ethnic group. To supplement this, we have carried out 20 focus groups with 130 people from minority ethnic groups in 5 events across Scotland. Interpreters were provided where needed and focus groups were conducted in English, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Nepalese, Cantonese, and Mandarin. The research explored the particular barriers faced by minority ethnic groups and people with English as a second language when accessing public support and the benefits system. It also asked participants about how Social Security Scotland could be designed to make sure it is accessible to these communities. The findings from this research are published here: Social Security Experience Panels - minority ethnic groups - report
Year 2 only
Action Action Status Update
We will ensure that the introduction of the new socio-economic duty on public bodies will align with the equality duties already placed on public authorities. We recognize the importance of intersectionality for example - low income minority ethnic women and minority ethnic disabled people. Complete The Fairer Scotland Duty (previously known as the Socio-economic Duty) came into force on 1 April 2018. It places a legal responsibility on public bodies in Scotland to actively consider how they can reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage, when making strategic decisions. There is ongoing work to explore innovative approaches to meeting the Fairer Scotland Duty. This involves bringing together evidence to support consideration of issues around intersectionality of race and poverty during the Fairer Scotland Duty's 3 year implementation period.
We will develop a common reporting and evaluation framework as part of the Advice Services Review that will include monitoring of reach and impact in relation to ethnicity and other protected characteristics. Complete We have undertaken an internal strategic policy review of our support for advice services, with the aim of developing a coherent strategic policy framework for the Scottish Government's support to advice services that directs investment and ensures services are effective, efficient, fit for purpose, provide value for money and are not duplicate. We will ensure advice services contribute to tackling poverty and inequality contributing to fulfilment of our Fairer Scotland Duty. Separately, we are now providing funding to the Improvement Service to embed the Common Advice Performance Management Reporting Framework (CAPMRF) within Local Authorities. The CAPMRF includes measurement of client demographics, including ethnicity.
Year 3 only
Action Action Status Update
The Poverty and Inequality Commission will consider the issue of race and poverty as part of their work and we will consider and respond to the advice from the Commission when it is received. Complete The Poverty and Inequality Commission has considered the issue of race and poverty throughout its work. In its advice to the Scottish Government on developing the first Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, the Commission highlighted that children from minority ethnic households were much more likely to live in poverty than children from white households, recommending that the Delivery Plan should recognise a potential higher risk of poverty than other households and should be clear how its proposed actions will support children from high risk households. The Scottish Government subsequently identified minority ethnic families as one of the priority family groups for the Delivery Plan. The Commission has recognised that different minority ethnic groups have different experiences of poverty, and that race interacts with other identities such as gender, disability and age to create different experiences (intersectionality). It will publish research in 2021 on how intersectionality is understood and accounted for in policy and service delivery in Scotland. This will highlight areas where the Commission can take action to drive this agenda forward. In its work for the Scottish Government's Social Renewal Advisory Board, the Commission (through the Addressing Low Income policy circle) looked at how the experiences of asylum seekers and refugees can be responded to in Scotland's approach to addressing low income through employment.
Multi-year actions
Action Action Status Update
We will ensure that ethnicity is a consideration in the development of the Child Poverty Delivery Plan to be published by April 2018. Complete The Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan was published in March 2018. The plan commits to broad ranging action to reduce child poverty between 2018 and 2022 and has a focus on 6 priority family types which have a higher rate of poverty, of which minority ethnic households are one. This focus has meant that race equality has been embedded in the delivery of the plan over its lifespan. The second annual progress report, published in August 2020, sets out that 56 of the 58 actions reported on the previous year are either in progress or being delivered. Progress updates provided highlight the impact on minority ethnic families, including that 35% of minority ethnic people who joined Fair Start Scotland went on to start work, higher than the percentage of white people (32%).
We will be introducing a Financial Health Check service for families who have children or are expecting a child. We know that minority ethnic families on low incomes can face particular challenges in terms of accessing support, so we will ensure that we work with organisations who engage with minority ethnic populations at local level to raise awareness of the offer of a guaranteed Financial Health Check for those who will benefit most. Complete In November 2018, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government launched the roll-out of the Financial Health Check (now known as the Money Talk Team). This income maximisation service includes 17 different components, including advice on reducing household energy costs, increasing benefit uptake, and support for child related costs. National marketing campaigns took place in January and August 2019 to raise awareness of the service as well as a national information roadshow during September 2019. A stakeholder toolkit has been produced to provide key partners with materials to help support the campaign messaging, and a number of ME organisations, including BEMIS, CEMVO and the Ethnic Minority Law Centre, were contacted as part of this. Alongside this, Citizens Advice Scotland and local bureaux undertake their own on-going local promotional events and awareness sessions at key forums and other collaborative groups with partner organisations. We provide funding for bureaux to access translation services. We launched a third national marketing campaign on 8 January 2021 and it ran for four weeks. In addition to using TV, radio, digital and social media to help promote the service it also included partnership working with BEMIS to deliver a series of workshops for minority ethnic families. In the first two years of delivery, the service has supported over 1,000 minority ethnic families be better off by almost £1.9 million.
We will work with minority ethnic communities over the course of this Parliamentary term in developing and implementing our new consumer and competition powers. Ongoing Consumer protection and competition policy remain reserved to the UK Government but the Scotland Act 2016 devolved consumer advocacy. The Consumer Scotland Act 2020 was passed in June 2020 and Consumer Scotland, a dedicated Scottish consumer advocacy body will be established later in 2021 as COVID-19 has impacted on the timeline. Consumer Scotland will engage widely to develop its forward work programme. It will have a particular focus on potentially vulnerable consumers and identifying causes of inequality. Once established, Consumer Scotland will be subject to the Public Sector Equality Duty and expected to engage directly with key groups including minority ethnic communities to understand their needs and issues. The Act requires Consumer Scotland to communicate in an inclusive way and ensure that any barriers are removed, for example by ensuring that information is available in multiple languages and formats, so that information can be received and the needs of individual met.
Over the course of this Parliamentary term we will collaborate with Credit Unions to deliver an awareness raising campaign and will seek views from representatives of minority ethnic communities during the design and delivery of this campaign, ensuring its key messages are accessible to a diverse audience. Suspended Part of the Programme for Government for 2020-21 is the commitment to introduce and publish a credit union strategy, co-produced in partnership with the sector, to enable it to develop and flourish. The development of this Strategy has been suspended due to the COVID pandemic. It is the intention that it will get underway later this spring. It will give us the opportunity to revisit the objectives and to consider the inclusion of a race specific action at that time as part of its inclusive and strategic approach to sustainable Credit Unions.


Email: charlie.goodwin@gov.scot

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