The Scottish Budget has a critical role to play in addressing inequality, promoting equality, advancing human rights and building a fairer Scotland. The Scottish Government is fully committed to embedding equality and human rights in everything we do - the Scottish budget process is no exception. The Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group contribute significantly to this work. We are hugely grateful for their guidance, leadership and recommendations, which are helping us achieve our ambition for Scotland to be a global leader in equality and human rights.
The Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group set out their recommendations in their report ‘Recommendations for equality and human rights budgeting – 2021-2026 parliamentary session’. We thank them for this thoughtful report and accept the challenge they present to government to continue to progress equality and human rights budgeting. This document sets out the Scottish Government’s response to those recommendations and how we plan to take them forward. We recognise that these are ambitious recommendations, which will take time to fully implement, and we will work closely with the Group to translate the aspirations into practical change. As we do so, we will embed the three key principles of human rights budgeting: transparency, accountability and participation.
Economic mismanagement by the UK Government is exacerbating a cost of living crisis, with the price of basic and essential goods spiralling after a decade of austerity and a hard Brexit. War in Ukraine has added further pressures on energy costs and global food prices. The impact is not felt equally; evidence shows that the cost of living crisis is disproportionately impacting low income households and the most vulnerable in society. There is an urgent need to understand the impact of policy and spending decisions in tackling inequality, realising human rights and securing a fairer Scotland. To make the Scottish Budget work harder, to do things differently and achieve different outcomes. The Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group’s recommendations are key to improving the Scottish Government’s approach.
We want Scotland to be a global leader in advancing equality and human rights, to be a nation where everyone can access their fundamental human rights and where no-one experiences discrimination or disadvantage on the basis of who they are. To achieve this, we must continue to build social justice, equality and human rights into our processes to ensure that future budgets deliver for people in Scotland who need it most.
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