Equality and Human Rights Budget Advisory Group's recommendations: Scottish Government response

Sets out our response to each of the four groupings of recommendations from the Group’s report. We also set out the key actions that we will take, many in partnership with others.


Every year, the Scottish Government publishes a plan for how it will spend the money it raises from taxes in Scotland and receives from the UK Government. This is the Budget.

The Budget is introduced into the Scottish Parliament in the form of a Budget Bill. This is a Scottish Government Bill for a Budget Act, as defined by section 29(3) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000, and only Scottish Government amendments to the Bill are allowed. The Scottish Parliament examines the Bill and then votes on whether to agree to the Bill’s general principles. Where it does so, the Parliament then votes on whether to pass the Bill (as amended by any Government amendments agreed to).

Like other Government activity, the budget process and outcomes operate within a legal framework in relation to equality and human rights. It must have due regard to the three needs of the Public Sector Equality Duty:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation,
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not, and
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

Budget decisions also need to comply with the requirement under the Fairer Scotland Duty:

  • to 'pay due regard' to how they can reduce inequalities of outcome caused by socio-economic disadvantage, when making strategic decisions[1]

The Equality and Fairer Scotland Budget Statement is an important part of the budget process, which sets out how our budget decisions will impact on different equality and rights issues. However, it is only one way in which we demonstrate how these obligations have been met. The Budget sets out decisions on resource allocations, but the details of the programmes, policies and services that it funds are developed through a robust policy making process, which involves the preparation of equality impact assessments, Child Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessments and Fairer Scotland Duty assessments, among others. Our response outlines how we are improving the wider framework of impact assessment.


Email: EHRBAGsecretariat@gov.scot

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