The Scope of the EQIA
A variety of sources have been used to help understand the likely impact of the proposed VL policy in relation to each of the 9 protected characteristics. In addition to ongoing engagement with a wide range of stakeholders, the sources of information that the EQIA has drawn on include:
- the 'National Discussion' on the merits of introducing a tourist tax in Scotland, which took place between November 2018 and January 2019.
- the formal public consultation on policy proposals for the Bill which ran from September to December 2019. This was complemented by engagement with key stakeholders representing the 9 protected characteristics.
- Refreshed engagement with stakeholders following resumption of policy work on the Bill following easing of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Survey data from various agencies, and Scottish Government data.
In developing this Bill, the Scottish Government is mindful of the 3 needs of the Public Sector Equality Duty – to 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 such people. Where any negative impacts have been identified, we have sought to mitigate/minimise these, whilst being mindful of our positive duty to promote equality.
In considering all 9 protected characteristics, the Scottish Government note that the protected characteristics listed along with other considerations are not independent of each other, and some people may have to deal with complex and interconnected issues related to disadvantage at any one time.
It is clear that the Visitor Levy Bill will affect local authorities, visitors, and local residents and businesses where a levy is implemented, either directly or indirectly.
The EQIA has been informed by detailed analysis of existing evidence and data (both qualitative and quantitative) in order to draw out the potential impacts of the policy for the nine protected characteristics: Age, Disability, Sex, Pregnancy and maternity, Gender reassignment, Sexual Orientation, Race, Marriage and Civil Partnership, and Religion and Belief.
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