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Every child, every chance: tackling child poverty delivery plan 2018-2022

Published: 29 Mar 2018
Part of:
Children and families, Equality and rights
ISBN:
9781788517317

The first Child Poverty Delivery Plan due under the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017. Outlining action for the period 2018-22.

156 page PDF

4.4MB

156 page PDF

4.4MB

Contents
Every child, every chance: tackling child poverty delivery plan 2018-2022
Chapter 7: Assessing Impact

156 page PDF

4.4MB

Chapter 7: Assessing Impact

"People in poverty might be scared to ask for help or go to a foodbank because they don't want to look weak. They want to be seen as strong."
Member of the Children's Parliament, age 10

Throughout the report we have shown how the interventions in this Plan link through to the targets. In this chapter, we provide a more detailed assessment of the ways in which the policies in chapters 2, 3 and 4 will help us meet our targets.

Figure 7.1 shows how we have approached the analysis, both in terms of impact analysis, and in terms of how we are thinking about monitoring and evaluation.

Figure 7.1 - Summary of analytical approach

Figure 7.1 - Summary of analytical approach

The end goal is that we will see progress towards the child poverty targets. So this chapter starts by discussing the four targets, and then sets out what future performance against the targets is predicted to be if no action is taken. We also explore the key groups that we need to focus on to ensure that our efforts to reach the targets are effective. This helps us to understand that there is no single solution to eradicating poverty, and different families face different barriers to permanently exiting poverty.

We then discuss the drivers of child poverty. These are the key underpinning issues that influence child poverty. Monitoring these drivers over time will help us understand changes in performance against the targets.

The final section of this chapter describes our approach to assessing the impact of individual policies on child poverty and its drivers. It focuses on the interventions in chapters 2, 3 and 4 and shows how these are aligned to the drivers.

The Child Poverty Targets

There are many reasons why children are in poverty and the reality of poverty in their daily lives will vary. Some children may only be in poverty for a short period of time, or may transition in and out of poverty at different times during their childhood. Others may find themselves in poverty for a number of years. Some families with savings may still be able to afford basic necessities even in periods of low income, whereas others may struggle to afford these goods and services even if their income is close to or even slightly above the poverty line. The targets in the Child Poverty Act are designed to cover all these aspects. Housing costs are a particularly significant and unavoidable cost of living. Poverty is fundamentally about lack of disposable income, and it is important to take housing costs into account when determining disposable income. This is why all our targets are measured on an After Housing Cost ( AHC) basis [14] .

Relative poverty: Children in families with incomes less than 60% of the contemporary UK median income

Absolute poverty: Children in families with incomes less than 60% of inflation adjusted 2011-12 median income

Combined low income and material deprivation: Children in families with incomes less than 70% of the contemporary median and who cannot afford a number of essential goods and services

Persistent poverty: Children in families who have been in relative poverty for three out of the past four years

Monitoring future trends in the child poverty targets

We are committed to publishing income inequality and poverty statistics on an annual basis. We use two publications; Poverty and Income Inequality in Scotland (Official Statistics) and Persistent Poverty in Scotland (Experimental Statistics) to provide rolling annual updates on all four child poverty targets. This data will allow us to track high level trends against the child poverty targets over time.

Projections of child poverty rates if no action taken

As part of the development of the evidence base to support the Delivery Plan, we commissioned a set of projections of child poverty that take into account tax and benefit changes already announced by the UK and Scottish Governments. This gives us a truer reflection of the scale of the challenge between now and 2030.

These projections were independently produced by Howard Reed at Landman Economics and Graham Stark at Virtual Worlds Research [15] . These projections do not take into account the impact of most of the policies laid out in this Delivery Plan. They effectively give us a baseline projection of how many children we can expect to be in poverty if we take no action.

Chart 7.1 shows the projected trend of child poverty for each target. By 2030-31, it is estimated that 38% of children will be in relative poverty, 32% of children will be in absolute poverty, 17% of children will be in combined low income and material deprivation and 16% of children will be in persistent poverty.

The key reason for these rises is the announced UK Government cuts, primarily the benefit freeze and the two child limit on tax credits. The impact of these cuts is predicted to be most acute between now and 2020.

Chart 7.1 - Projected child poverty rates

Chart 7.1 - Projected child poverty rates

Source: Reed and Stark 2018 [16]

How the risk of child poverty varies between different groups

There are a number of 'priority groups' that we know - from our own statistics and from the wider literature - have a particularly high risk of poverty. Interventions that address poverty in these groups are crucial in ensuring we meet the targets.

priority groups

These are groups where there is strong evidence that the risk of poverty is higher. The majority of these households have at least one adult in work. But there are structural barriers that throw up additional challenges for these parents in the workplace, meaning that many are at higher risk of poverty because they are unable to work enough hours and/or earn a high enough wage. These structural barriers are often outwith the control of these families, and stem from a range of issues, including flexibility and affordability of childcare, and wider issues around skills and progression. There is also evidence of discrimination.

Any barrier to employment and progression is of detriment to economic growth. In order to achieve inclusive growth and a productive economy, the skills and talents of every person, regardless of their situation, need to be utilised.

Because these groups are more likely to be excluded from the paid labour market, they are often more reliant on the social security system. Therefore, the impact of UK Government welfare cuts is even more apparent. For example, our projections estimate that, unless action is taken, relative poverty for lone parents is expected to be in the region of 60% by 2030-31, and for 3+ child families, the rate is expected to be over 50%.

Gender and poverty

We have conclusive evidence that poverty and gender are inextricably linked. We know that lone parents (who are predominantly women) and households where only one adult works are at a higher risk of poverty. We know that women face a range of barriers to paid employment and progression, hence the existence of a substantial gender pay gap and we know that women take on most of the paid and unpaid caring roles in households.

But, the relationship between gender and poverty is about much more than paid work and earnings. Wider social structures and power relations mean that we cannot simply assume that women share the same access to resources, whether from paid work or from social security as men when they are in the same household. This can lead to hidden poverty within households, which may also affect children.

Many of our interventions are directly targeted at alleviating women's poverty, whether lone parents or cohabiting parents, and we make explicit reference to this in introductory sections and where applicable in the analysis of each intervention. Further exploration of the link between gender and poverty is provided in Annex 2 and in the equality impact assessment.

Local variations in poverty

The place where families live can also create additional challenges. Income varies across Scotland, as shown in Figure 7.2. Local authorities and health boards have duties under the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act, and are clearly best placed to understand their local areas. We will continue to work with our local partners to help where possible with their own reporting.

In this national Delivery Plan, we focus on two particular geographies where there is evidence of additional barriers: rural areas, and areas of high deprivation.

Not all people who live in these areas are at a greater risk of poverty. Indeed, quantitative analysis of large datasets has tended to conclude that 'neighbourhood effects' are marginal when compared to other factors in explaining poverty [17] . For that reason, we have not treated these areas as high risk 'priority' groups. Instead, we are exploring where there is evidence that place can have a small, but potentially significant, impact for some low income households. This is primarily due to lack of access to employment and public services, and due to additional costs of living.

The SIMD Income Domain [18] is not a proxy for child poverty. But it does clearly show how incomes vary across Scotland.

Figure 7.2 - SIMD Income Domain 2016

Figure 7.2 - SIMD Income Domain 2016

The Drivers of Child Poverty

There is a strong evidence base that helps us to understand the 'drivers' of child poverty - in other words, the reasons why families with children are in poverty. These can vary markedly by household, and derive from different circumstances and life events. However, at their core, the direct drivers of poverty fall into three main categories - income from employment, costs of living, and income from social security.

These categories align closely with the headings of Chapters 2, 3 and 4 of this report. The only difference is that benefits in kind ( e.g. free school meals) count as income for the purposes of measuring poverty. So in this chapter we have grouped them in the same category as social security.

Income from employment, income from social security and housing costs influence all four targets. Other costs of living influence the combined low income and material deprivation target.

The drivers of poverty are summarised in the diagram below, and discussed in more detail in Annex 2.

The drivers of poverty

Monitoring future trends in the drivers of child poverty

As part of our annual reporting against the Delivery Plan, the Scottish Government will publish statistical indicators for each of the poverty drivers - the Child Poverty Measurement Framework. The proposed indicators are set out in the table below. Where possible and appropriate, the data for each of the indicators will be presented separately for each of the priority groups, and by gender.

There are some indicators we would like to include in the measurement framework - for example, levels of benefit take-up - but have not been able to, because of limitations of the data that are currently collected. We will continue to improve our data and analysis, where possible, and develop and refine the measurement framework accordingly.

Income from employment

Costs of living

Income from social security & benefits in kind

Parental employment

Housing affordability

Take-up of free school meals

Children in households with no paid employment

Energy affordability

Level of school clothing grant

Children in households with no paid employment in last 12 months

Childcare affordability

Level of devolved social security payment entitlement*

Parental underemployment

Food insecurity

Level of reserved social security entitlement (excluding housing)*

Employees earning less than Living Wage

Problem debt

Level of housing related social security payments*

Jobs density

Internet access

Parents with low or no qualifications

Low or no savings

School leaver attainment gap

Childcare availability - school holidays

Childcare availability - extended hours

Satisfaction with local public transport

*Real terms entitlement for illustrative out of work and in-work families with children

The measurement framework is one part of a broader approach to assessing impact. Monitoring these statistics will tell us what's happening in relation to the various drivers of child poverty over time, in order to better understand what's driving any change in performance against the targets. It will not, however, allow us to attribute the reasons for change to the specific actions of any government, organisation or individual. It is therefore complementary to any monitoring and evaluation of the impact of individual policies.

Impact of Individual Policies

Each new intervention featured in Chapters 2, 3 and 4 is analysed here. Crucially we show how each policy links to the targets, via the drivers of income from employment, cost of living and income from social security or benefits in kind.

We describe the type of impact, and the numbers impacted. We also look across the priority groups to show where there are direct links, as well as considering geographical factors, and wider impacts on gender and inclusive growth.

This analytical structure ensures consistency and transparency, and provides a clear explanation of how our assessment of the impact on child poverty has been arrived at.

Assessments of interventions included in Chapters 2, 3 and 4

Chapters 2, 3 and 4 contain the key new interventions that we expect to have an impact on the targets. Each intervention includes a summary box with a short assessment of the impact through to the targets. In this section, this is explained in more detail.

Each of the following pages provides a brief overview of the policy, and shows how this links to the key drivers outlined earlier in this chapter. We then look at an assessment of impact, taking into account the numbers expected to be impacted, whether it will have a direct impact or whether there are other interdependencies that will have a bearing on the impact, and then finally whether we can be certain that this policy will have a significant impact on family incomes. In cases where we do not know the answer to any of these questions, we are committing to further research to gather this information.

We also show how each intervention links to the priority groups. Arrows indicate where interventions specifically target priority groups, or where we think these groups will disproportionately benefit. However, many of the policies will benefit most, if not all, of the priority groups.

Fair Start Scotland

Fair Start Scotland is a voluntary employability service that aims to support people into work who face barriers to employment, over three years. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment

Potential size of impact

This is a voluntary offer. The programme aims to support 38,000 people, who are currently not in paid work, into employment.

Type of impact

Direct impact through income from employment.

Certainty of impact

For those who benefit from the scheme, impact on income could be significant. The numbers involved in the scheme means this policy, in isolation, could impact on the targets.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

All priority groups should be positively impacted by this policy. Lone parents, disabled people and ethnic minorities are specifically targeted. The policy is also focussed on reaching those in the most deprived areas of Scotland.

This policy is likely to be of particular benefit to women due to lower levels of labour market participation compared with men and support will be tailored to each individual who accesses the scheme.

Sustained employment for those facing barriers to work will permanently lower the risk of households in poverty and will also help Scotland's economy achieve inclusive growth.

Intensive employment support for parents

New employment support to engage with the most disadvantaged parents to support them into employment, up-skill those in employment and achieve financial independence. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment
  • Costs of living
  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

The scope of the support offer is yet to be determined.

Type of impact

Direct impact on income from employment and potential direct impact on security income and costs of living from financial advice.

Certainty of impact

This policy is still in development.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

This proposal is subject to on-going design and impact assessment. We would expect all of our priority groups to benefit.

Previous programmes in this area targeted lone parents and disadvantaged parents, with households with disabled inhabitants benefiting.

Minority ethnic groups, young mothers, parents with younger children and parents with lower qualifications are likely to benefit particularly from the new policy.

Building a Living Wage Nation

Increasing low pay for those on the Minimum Wage or the National Living Wage, both of which are far below the 'real' Living Wage. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment

Potential size of impact

430,000 people in Scotland aged 18+ currently earn less than the living wage.

Type of impact

Direct impact from income from employment.

Certainty of impact

An increase in pay to the Living Wage will be sufficient to lift some children out of poverty.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Potential to benefit on all priority groups. In particular, low pay sectors are more likely to be female dominated and employ a younger workforce, so lone parents, who are also predominantly women, and younger mothers, are most likely to benefit.

We know that not all people who earn less than the Living Wage are in poverty, but many people in in-work poverty are on minimum wage levels. As the Commission noted in their advice, the Living Wage, is not going to end in-work poverty by itself. However, low wages are an important part of the reason why in-work poverty exists, along with barriers to hours worked.

Tackling low pay in the public sector

Tackling low pay in the public sector. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment

Potential size of impact

As a large employer, pay policy in the public sector has the potential to affect a large number of people.

Type of impact

Direct impact on income from boosting earnings

Certainty of impact

We know that boosting low pay to the Living Wage can lift some households out of Poverty.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

This should be of benefit to all priority groups. In particular, the lowest paid workers are more likely to be female and younger, therefore lone parents (who are predominantly female) and mothers aged less than 25 should benefit in particular.

Flexible Workforce Development Fund

Addressing skills gaps and supporting productivity and helping employees to build a career. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment

Potential size of impact

It is estimated that around 4,000 businesses/ organisations in Scotland, employing 1.7 million people will be eligible for this assistance.

Type of impact

If the training leads to higher productivity and pay, then this will increase income from employment.

Certainty of impact

This policy, in isolation, could be sufficient to lift some children out of poverty. Initial feedback from the fund will help us to understand the certainty of impact more.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

This fund has the potential to benefit all priority groups. Employers are being encouraged to give due consideration to specific groups, including those belonging to equality groups.

In particular, low pay sectors are more likely to be female dominated and employ a younger workforce, so lone parents, who are predominantly women, are likely to benefit.

A new approach to employment, developed with disabled people

Actions in development to close the disability employment gap. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment

Potential size of impact

Around 70,000 children in poverty live in a household with a disabled adult. Over half of these children live in a household where no adult is in paid work.

Type of impact

Direct impact from income from employment.

Certainty of impact

Policy still in development, but for disabled parents who move into employment as a result of this intervention, the impact on income could be significant. This policy, in isolation, could impact on the targets.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Actions will be directly targeted at households where there is a disabled adult.

Households with a disabled adult face significant challenges with regards to employment, which is why poverty rates for this group are so high. This is before we consider the additional costs of disability, which may mean that living standards for some of these households may be worse than the poverty statistics suggest. This policy is still in development, and actions will be developed which takes the full range of barriers to work for disabled parents into account.

New Action on the Gender Pay Gap

Increasing women's access to the labour market and earnings potential. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment

Potential size of impact

Practically all households in poverty would benefit from removing barriers to women's employment and earning potential.

Type of impact

Direct impact from income from employment.

Certainty of impact

For those who benefit from actions, impact on income could be significant. The numbers impacted could mean this policy in isolation could impact on the targets.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

All groups were the child lives in the same household as their mother will benefit from increased women's pay. The disproportionate amount of time that women spend caring for children is one of the key drivers of the gender pay gap.

Most lone parents are women; therefore these actions will particularly benefit this group. Research from the Equality and Human Rights Commission also suggests that the minority ethnic gender pay gap is even higher than the overall gender pay gap.

Research also suggests that pregnancy and maternity discrimination is a significant issue, particularly for young women.

Actions on tackling the gender pay gap are key to ensuring inclusive growth in Scotland.

Workplace Equality Fund

Seeking employer led solutions to overcome workforce inequality using the Workplace Equality Fund. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment

Potential size of impact

This policy has the potential to impact on all households in poverty with protected characteristics who face inequalities in the workplace.

Type of impact

Direct impact through income from employment

Certainty of impact

For those who benefit from the scheme, impact on income could be significant. The fund will continually be reviewed and evaluated to ensure it achieves maximum impact.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

A lack of equality in the workplace affects all our priority families in many different ways.

All women are subject to additional barriers in the workplace, especially once they become parents. Therefore all groups could benefit.

Removing barriers to employment could have long lasting impacts on families, permanently reducing their risk of poverty. This is necessary to help ensure that the Scottish economy achieves inclusive growth.

New Support for Flexible Working

Supporting flexible working for parents by working with employers to build flexibility into job roles at the outset. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment

Potential size of impact

Yet to be determined. Success of new pilot programmes will help determine scale.

Type of impact

If it allows parents to work and progress their careers because of the flexible offer, it will impact on income from employment.

Certainty of impact

Monitoring and evaluation of past projects and future pilots will help determine how much of an impact this will have on parents.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Has the potential to impact on all priority groups.

Flexible working can be particularly important for parents - and in particular for women who are often the main carers of children and for disabled people, who may need a range of additional considerations.

Expanded Early Learning and Childcare

Expansion of funded Early Learning and Childcare to 1,140 hours per year for eligible children. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment
  • Costs of living

Potential size of impact

Universal for three- and four-year olds. Two-year olds who meet free school meal criteria are eligible (around 25%).

Type of impact

Will have a direct impact by reducing costs to families who currently pay for childcare. It has the potential to enable parents to access work or training where affordability of childcare is currently an issue.

Certainty of impact

Potential for significant financial impact for families meaning that this policy, in isolation, could impact on the targets.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Because women disproportionately take on unpaid caring responsibilities, they are likely to benefit disproportionately. This will benefit all the priority groups.

The targeting of provision for two-year olds meeting Free School Meal criteria will benefit low income households who are more likely to live in areas of high deprivation. Larger families, with more than one young child, may benefit more.

Long run improvements to child outcomes ( e.g. educational attainment) could result in higher lifetime earnings.

After School and holiday childcare

New strategic framework for after school and holiday childcare. If this results in greater availability or lower costs then it could have relevant impacts. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment
  • Costs of living

Potential size of impact

Uncertain as policy not yet defined but could impact on all families where there are children of school age.

Type of impact

Uncertain as depends on the type and cost of provision. However, it has the potential to impact on cost of living and income from employment if it allows more parents to work longer hours.

Certainty of impact

Potential for significant financial impact for families meaning that this policy, in isolation, could impact on the targets.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Policy not yet defined, but likely to benefit all priority groups, and could involve measures targeting particular groups at most need.

A minimum level for School Clothing Grants

A new minimum level of School Clothing Grant that will apply to all local authorities in Scotland. Impacts on:

  • Costs of living
  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

Yet to be defined, but likely to be targeted at households on low income.

Type of impact

Direct impact on cost of living and on income from benefits in kind.

Certainty of impact

Costs of the school day are a significant issue for families in poverty, and this policy will have a direct impact on reducing these costs, and have a positive impact on material deprivation.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Potential to benefit all priority groups with school age children, in particular those in larger families.

Reducing Food Insecurity in School Holidays

Provision of free meals and activities during the school holidays. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment
  • Costs of living
  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

Yet to be defined, but likely to be targeted at least at those currently eligible for free school meals.

Type of impact

Direct impact on cost of living and impact on income from benefits in kind. Potential for impact on income from employment if the offer includes some kind of supervised care.

Certainty of impact

Uncertain at this time, but work will be undertaken to enhance our understanding of the issue and how it can best be tackled.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Potential to benefit all priority groups with school age children, in particular those in larger families.

Further support on costs of the school day

Promoting best practice of how to reduce and remove financial barriers that pupils face at school. Impacts on:

  • Costs of living
  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

Potential to benefit all low income children of school age.

Type of impact

Direct impact on cost of living and impact on income from benefits in kind if it increases uptake of schemes such as free school meals.

Certainty of impact

Impact will differ depending on the circumstances of different families.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Potential to benefit all priority groups with school age children, in particular those in larger families.

New Help with Fuel Poverty

A new longer-term approach to fuel poverty which will be set out in legislation through the introduction of a Warm Homes Bill. Delivery mechanism includes Scotland's Energy Efficiency Programme. Impacts on:

  • Costs of living

Potential size of impact

Preliminary analysis suggests that 134,000 families lived in fuel poverty in 2015 based on the proposed new definition (to be agreed through Parliamentary process). These families include around 221,000 children.

Type of impact

Should impact on cost of living. However, improved energy efficiency will only lead to reduced fuel bills if this is not countered by increased energy prices.

Certainty of impact

As Scotland's Energy Efficient Programme ( SEEP) is developed, there will be further analysis on how it can be targeted appropriately. Impacts on individual households may be significant, although evaluation will be required to be certain of impact.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Changes to proposed new definition are likely to benefit many of the priority groups in particular, due to the characteristics of these households. We assume this will be the case for all our priority groups, but currently we do not have enough data to confirm this for minority ethnic households.

As SEEP is developed, and its intervention programmes are designed, we will ensure that the reduction of child poverty is prioritised, with interventions targeted appropriately, and that the impact on child poverty levels is a key part of the evaluation of their impact.

Help with Housing Costs

We will (1) work with social landlords to identify the best ways to keep rents affordable, (2) produce an evidence base and strengthen our guidance to ensure our current and future affordable homes delivery is focussed on specific housing needs, including children's, and (3) evaluate the new Private Rental Tenancy to ensure households with children are benefitting from its greater security. Impacts on:

  • Costs of living

Potential size of impact

About 16,000 households with children (27,000 children) will benefit from the current 50k affordable home commitment. There are an estimated 250,000 children in the social sector and 145,000 in the private rented sector.

Type of impact

Affordable rents have a direct impact on cost of living and housing costs count directly towards the targets. Improved security in the private rented sector may also have indirect effects.

Certainty of impact

Impact of more affordable rents on cost of living could be substantial, although may be partly offset for households on housing benefit.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

While generally not based directly on income, housing need will correlate strongly with low income and with the characteristics of all the priority groups.

The Scottish Government formula for allocating funding to local authorities also specifically factors in the barriers of remoteness and deprivation.

A New Financial Health Check

Maximising incomes from take-up of social security and ensuring households can access best value goods and services. Impacts on:

  • Costs of living
  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

All families on low income will be offered the check.

Type of impact

Potential for direct impact on income from increased social security take-up. Cost of living should be positively impacted by advice on how to avoid the poverty premium.

Certainty of impact

Potential for significant impact on some households. A pilot project targeted at older people successfully reached its target group.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Over the period of programme development, we will be considering how best this programme can be delivered to all the priority groups and how it could be best tailored to suit the circumstances of particular groups. For example, our consultation identified a strong need for holistic and timely financial advice for minority ethnic communities, with refugees and asylum seekers being particularly affected.

Financial impact from putting advice into practice will be long lasting.

A new Campaign on Council Tax Reduction

A targeted campaign to improve the take-up of the Council Tax Reduction ( CTR) Scheme. Impacts on:

  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

Analysis suggests that over 200,000 households could benefit from taking up CTR (number with children not known)

Type of impact

Direct impact through income from social security or benefits in kind if eligible families start to take up CTR.

Certainty of impact

Unknown at this point in time. Further analysis and monitoring and evaluation will be required to understand scale of impact on children.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

As the campaign is developed, ways to target the message to all priority groups will be considered.

Encouraging Benefit Uptake

A programme of activity to increase uptake of the financial support that people are entitled to. Impacts on:

  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

Around 140,000 households are estimated not to be claiming Housing Benefit. Around 60,000 households are estimated to not be claiming child tax credits.

Type of impact

Direct impact through income from social security if take-up is increased.

Certainty of impact

Further analysis and monitoring will be required to understand effectiveness of campaign.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

As the campaign is developed, ways to target the message to all priority groups will be considered.

New Support for Affordable Credit

Increasing access to affordable credit, to reduce the cost of borrowing for low income families. Impacts on:

  • Costs of living

Potential size of impact

We know that problem debt affects many households so there is the potential for the affordable credit sector to grow.

Type of impact

Direct impact on cost of living where households are using credit and could benefit from more affordable options.

Certainty of impact

This could have a significant impact on disposable income for parents, and therefore will help address material deprivation.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Benefits of using affordable credit will continue for the length of the loan, helping smooth out periods where household income is fluctuating. Once users are engaged with affordable credit services they will be more likely to access other basic financial services, including savings products and bank accounts.

Access to Sanitary Products

Ensuring access to free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities, and considering further action to support others on low income. Impacts on:

  • Costs of living

Potential size of impact

Currently estimated that 410,000 individuals will benefit.

Type of impact

Direct impact on cost of living.

Certainty of impact

The evaluation of the Aberdeenshire pilot will help us to understand the impact on those who benefit. Although the financial impact may be relatively small, it will make a difference to some households and free up money to be spent on other essential goods or services.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Although not targeted at particular household types, larger households in poverty should particularly benefit as these are likely to have more children who need access to sanitary products.

Improved school attendance will have long lasting benefits on educational attainment and reduce the risk of future poverty.

A New Income Supplement

A new income supplement for low income families. We are now looking at a range of options for an income supplement of this kind, which will be either a top up of a reserved benefit or a new Scottish social security benefit. Impacts on:

  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

Policy currently under development.

Type of impact

Direct impact on household income from cash transfer.

Certainty of impact

Policy currently under development. However, analysis shows that, for those who benefit, even a relatively small income supplement could be enough to lift families out of poverty.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Although the policy is currently under development, all priority groups should expect to benefit from the new income supplement.

A New Best Start Grant

Replaces and expands on Sure Start Maternity Grant - providing cash payments to eligible low-income families at the birth of a child, and at the start of nursery and primary school. Impacts on:

  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

Target group likely to be around 60,000 children

Type of impact

Direct impact on household income from cash transfer(s).

Certainty of impact

The policy is likely to have a small direct impact on Material Deprivation and may have an impact on absolute poverty and relative poverty for a very small number of families in the years that the benefit is paid.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Mothers under 18 are automatically eligible for the grant meaning that it reaches young mothers. The Grant is set at a lower value for second and subsequent children, but the predecessor to BSG - the UK Sure Start Maternity Grant - was payable for the first child only, meaning that eligible larger families are better off under BSG.

New Support for Carers

The generosity of Carer's Allowance will be increased by £8.50 p/w in 2018/19 to raise the benefit to the level of Jobseeker's Allowance. Impacts on:

  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

Targets low income households as eligibility is limited to those earning £116 a week or less. However, a relatively small proportion of Carer's Allowance recipients have children.

Type of impact

Direct impact on income from social security through increased generosity of payments.

Certainty of impact

In isolation, policy is likely to have very limited impact on child poverty targets. The payment may allow families with children to afford one or more items on the Multiple Deprivation list.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

This policy has not been designed to directly target any of the priority groups, however indirect benefits may be felt by disabled people cared for by those on Carer's Allowance - especially where they are in the same household. Carer's Allowance is paid to those who care full time for a disabled person - that person does not have to be in their household.

A New Job Grant

A payment of £100 (£250 for those who are parents) and three month free bus travel for all young people (16-24 year olds) who find a job after a period of six months of unemployment. Impacts on:

  • Income from employment
  • Costs of living
  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

6,500 to 8,500 people are likely to be eligible and are likely to be at risk of poverty due to extended period of unemployment. However, less than 10% of those eligible have children.

Type of impact

Small direct impact on income from social security through cash payment. Direct impact on cost of living and income from benefits in kind if claimants use bus pass. Potential impact on income from earnings through incentive to access paid employment.

Certainty of impact

Uncertain. Monitoring and evaluation will be required to understand scale of impact on the targets.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

The job grant has the potential to benefit all priority groups.

Widened Funeral Expense Assistance eligibility

Funeral Expense Assistance to help more people with funeral costs, including low income families with children. Impacts on:

  • Income from social security and benefits in kind

Potential size of impact

By replacing Funeral Expenses Payments with an enhanced Funeral Expenses Assistance, it is estimated that an additional 2,200 payments will be made each year, with total payments of approximately 5,600 in Scotland in 2020/21.

Type of impact

Direct impact through income from social security for affected households.

Certainty of impact

Unknown at this stage, but impact on child poverty is likely to be small.

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Analysis of Priority Groups, Additional Barriers and other factors

Has the potential to impact on all priority groups.

Analysing the impact of the Scottish Budget

The Commission recommended that we commit to providing analysis of the likely impact of annual budget decisions on the child poverty targets. The Draft Budget has been accompanied by an Equality Budget Statement for the last nine years. This statement and the process of equality impact assessment that leads to it ensures that the Scottish Government understands the impacts of policy and spending decisions on a range of equality and socio-economic outcomes. Supporting children and young people has been a focus of the 'age' characteristic for many years. In the Equality Budget Statement this sits alongside sections on socio-economically disadvantaged households and a focus on inclusive growth which features many of the key drivers of child poverty in terms of income from employment. As a result child poverty is already part of budget considerations.

However, to ensure that this assessment is easily accessible, in future years we will include a separate chapter providing a qualitative assessment of the impact of the budget on child poverty. This chapter will combine findings from the above themes and examine budgetary impacts of the three drivers of child poverty; income from employment; income from social security and benefits in-kind; and costs of living.

The development of new outcome focussed budgeting in response to the Budget Review Group's recommendations will provide further opportunities to build the narrative and budgetary impact around child poverty. This starts with the five-year medium term financial framework which sets out key strategic expenditure priorities.

Building on our analytical capabilities for future Delivery Plans

Our current evidence base on child poverty equips us with the tools to determine which policies will impact on the targets. As this is the first Delivery Plan, we recognise that future plans will need to learn from policies put in place now. We have ambitions to use this learning to develop our modelling capabilities in order to help us plan and prioritise our resources most effectively.

Over the next few years, we will scope out and develop tools to help us analyse the full range of policies, with the intention of being able to produce quantitative estimates of the impact of future interventions on the poverty targets. This is not possible at the moment, primarily because of the lack of applicable evaluation evidence.

Without doubt, we will need to ensure that robust monitoring and evaluation processes are in place for all policies in the Delivery Plan to ascertain the monetary impact on household incomes. We will also need to understand the interdependencies with other factors, and how impact varies between different household types. Most importantly, we will need to know which policies do not have the full intended effects and why.

We hope that the information gained from these evaluations will be able to be applied to other, similar, interventions. Our ambition is to build a modelling tool that uses this learning to understand the likely quantitative impact of poverty reduction policies in the future.

Building a modelling tool of this sort is not an easy task. We will work constructively with our partners and stakeholders, but as far as we are aware, no models currently exist that fulfil our requirements.

To ensure that we have adequate data to enable a fully evidence based approach, we are establishing a governance group for the evaluation of policies in the Delivery Plan. Progress reports will be prepared for each Child Poverty Annual Report.


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