Resource Spending Review: Equality and Fairer Scotland Statement

This report considers some of the key opportunities and challenges that the Scottish Government faces over this parliamentary term; what these mean for inequality, fairness and human rights; and how the spending review and other initiatives respond.


We are pleased to present this Equality and Fairer Scotland Statement. It sets out how we will address the key challenges and realise the opportunities to tackle inequality, promote human rights, and build a fairer Scotland through the Resource Spending Review. For the first time in over a decade we have been able to set out multi-year spending plans and provide greater certainty and stability to our partners. Breaking the cycle of single-year funding and taking a longer-term view supports the Scottish Government's strategic approach and ambition to achieve a more equal society.

The Resource Spending Review comes at a time when people, communities and organisations are facing an unprecedented increase in the cost of living, with significant pressure hitting those on the lowest incomes the hardest. Alongside this, the entire nation is still recovering from the COVID-19 crisis, which was more harmful for those experiencing the greatest inequality. The consequences of the UK's exit from the European Union continue to reverberate, adding to the cost of living crisis, and impacting on some groups more than others. Finally, the illegal war in Ukraine is causing significant global shocks which we are starting to feel now and are likely to continue for some time.

This underlines the need to continue with the Scottish Government's equality, fairness, and human rights agenda. The deployment of public finances is a key lever in a government's toolkit to tackle inequality and realise human rights. Resource funding pays for many public services, funds numerous organisations and initiatives, pays for Scottish social security benefits, and pays the salaries of public sector workers. What we fund, and how, can have a significant impact on addressing inequality and socio-economic disparity.

As the Resource Spending Review sets the strategic funding framework, this statement considers nine strategic opportunities and challenges flowing from previous Equality and Fairer Scotland Budget Statements, and how we will address them. Many of the subsequent funding decisions we take will have a direct impact on the lives of people, which is why equality, fairness, and human rights continue to underpin decision-making and delivery across the Scottish Government.

Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy

Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government



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