This chapter summarises how the following protected characteristics – age, disability, gender, gender identity, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation – are affected by the Draft Budget 2018-19.
The overview is easiest to produce for those characteristics where there is better data. Assessments for gender identity, race, religion and belief, and sexual orientation have been made where possible, but data limitations affect what we can say. Likewise, as discussed in Chapter 1, the assessment of intersectionality is challenging.
As in previous years, this chapter also includes an assessment of how the Draft Budget impacts on people with low incomes or living in socio-economic disadvantage. The introduction of the Fairer Scotland Duty – which will require public bodies, including the Scottish Government, to consider the impact of their strategic decisions on socio-economic disadvantage – means that this type of assessment will become increasingly important. It is important that any new focus on socio-economic concerns must not detract from the existing focus on equality considerations, and we will work with EBAG over the next few months to ensure that we strike the right balance.
The Draft Budget has a range of implications for gender equality.
There are known structural gender inequalities in the economy. For example, women are more likely to be economically inactive or working part-time due to caring, they are paid less per hour on average, and there is gender segregation by employment sector and grade. A number of programmes in this year’s Draft Budget aim to influence gender imbalances. Funding will allow Skills Development Scotland to tackle culturally ingrained challenges by taking forward measures set out in the Equality Action Plan ( EAP) for Modern Apprenticeships ( MAs). The EAP sets out the scale of the challenge relating to occupational segregation and inequality in MAs, and the requirement for all partners to work in collaboration. Likewise, the new National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland recognises the need to promote manufacturing enterprise to under-represented groups, including women. The Scottish Funding Council’s Gender Action Plan will continue to reduce gender under-representation in some college and undergraduate courses, as well as increasing the representation of women on Higher Education Courts and Boards and in senior management structures.
The new employability support service provides an early entry option for lone parents (who are predominantly women); and the expansion of living wage payments to sleepover care workers will predominantly impact positively on women’s income. In addition, the financial support for the Scottish Social Services Council promotes gender equality by providing additional training and support to its predominantly female workforce.
Caring is a particular barrier to employment for many women. The continued investment in the expansion of childcare enables more care for younger children in disadvantaged circumstances which may assist women to enter the labour market or undertake other paid or unpaid community activity. A pilot deposit guarantee scheme will target families with younger children who are not yet eligible for funded provision.
The number of sexual offences reported to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service ( COPFS) continues to rise. Although sexual offences can affect both men and women, 94 per cent of crimes of rape and attempted rape and 87 per cent of crimes of sexual assault had a female victim in 2016-17. Given the high number of sexual offending cases, the COPFS budget services four specialist High Court sexual crime units to supplement the specialist work of Crown Counsel within the National Sex Crimes Unit.
The continuing investment to progress the Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Bill 2017 through Parliament and to tackle violence against women and girls through the Equality, COPFS and Justice budgets will have an ongoing positive impact on women and young people. The budget also includes the expansion of the innovative Caledonian programme so that more male perpetrators of domestic abuse can receive specific rehabilitation services designed to address the issues giving rise to their offending behaviour.
For the first time, the Equality budget will also support the newly established Advisory Council on Women and Girls, reporting directly to the First Minister. The Advisory Council will raise awareness of gender inequality, champion the rights of women and girls, and act as a catalyst for change.
Increased health funding will have positive impacts on anyone who makes use of primary care staff and facilities. The increased funding for the Family Nurse Partnership programme will be of specific benefit to women, supporting the extension of the programme to vulnerable first-time mothers up to the age of 24, and new funding for breastfeeding resources will specifically benefit mothers and their children in the first days after birth.
The Justice budget prioritises a presumption to community sentencing but also invests in a new female custodial estate, including a smaller national women’s prison and two innovative community-based custody units in Glasgow and Dundee to provide better support to women and reduce reoffending.
The Draft Budget also seeks to help women through international development, for example, through the Culture budget’s funding of training for women from International Conflict Zones and the Environment budget’s maintained funding of the HydroNation programme.
Children and Young People
This assessment considers how children and young people are affected by the Draft Budget.
Care at birth and in the early years of life will be supported by increased staffing in key areas. The increase in the number of health visitors by 500 will provide a particular benefit for the women and babies who use midwifery and health visiting services.
The continuance of funding for the Baby Box and increased investment into the expansion of child care facilities, staff recruitment and training will also impact positively on younger children. Early learning and childcare ( ELC) is Scotland’s most significant infrastructure investment, and high quality early years support is crucial to positive child outcomes. The prioritisation of childcare expansion into areas of higher deprivation will aim to reach children who may currently be more disadvantaged at an earlier stage.
The Draft Budget is investing in the continued delivery of the Scottish Attainment Challenge. Continued funding including Pupil Equity Funding to reduce the poverty related attainment gap, will have a positive impact on disabled children and young people, and those from White Gypsy/Traveller, Polish, Caribbean/Black, African and Arab groups who are over-represented in the most deprived areas. The Attainment Challenge Fund further advances equality of opportunity by providing additional resources to support children with Additional Support Needs.
Publication of our ‘Child and Adolescent Health and Wellbeing Action Plan’ in addition to the Draft Budget’s continued support for a preventative mental health focus on children and young people should have a range of positive wellbeing impacts. This is likely to be particularly important for girls and younger women who currently report lower levels of mental wellbeing.
The commitment to delivering free access to higher education for Scottish or EU domiciled students will continue, and we have maintained funding for the Education Maintenance Allowance ( EMA) programme to ensure that this opportunity is available to all.
To address the barriers for care-experienced students, specific budgets will provide a non-income assessed bursary of £7,625 for those undertaking an eligible undergraduate course.
A new programme is being introduced to give universal access to sanitary products for girls and young women at schools, colleges and universities providing them with this basic necessity.
The Developing Young Workforce programme has fulfilled its commitment to reduce youth unemployment by 40 per cent, four years ahead of schedule. However, there is still work to do to ensure that all young people have opportunities to succeed. Maintained funding for the Modern Apprenticeship programme will continue with developing targets to address gender imbalances and increase opportunities for disabled or socio-economically disadvantaged apprentices.
New transport funding to pilot concessionary bus passes for Modern Apprentices will ease the path of younger people into the workforce whilst maintained funding for the Road Equivalent Tariff and action to reduce fares on ferry services ensures that young people living in island communities can travel at an affordable cost, increasing their opportunities for work and leisure.
In the Justice portfolio, work is being progressed to better support victims and witnesses of crime, in particular child witnesses, and a Bill will be introduced to help further expand the taking of pre-recorded evidence.
The Scottish Government’s reforms to Council Tax make local taxation fairer. To further protect households with below median income, a relief scheme was put in place for those living in the highest value properties. The child allowance of this relief is being maintained in 2018-19 and the Scottish Government has not introduced the two child cap (which now applies to many UK benefits) to the scheme. In addition, to support care-experienced young adults as they adapt to life in independent accommodation, all care leavers will be exempt from Council Tax from April 2018.
Cultural budgets have been maintained to help young people’s involvement in culture and the arts through programmes such as the Youth Music Initiative and Sistema Scotland, as well as the outreach work of the National Performing Companies such as the Royal Scottish National Opera Junior Chorus.
Older people are affected by the Draft Budget in a number of ways.
Many aspects of the Health budget will impact positively on older people. Increased investment of £110 million in the primary care fund in 2018-19 will be of benefit to disabled people and people with limiting long-term health conditions who are more likely to use GP services, as well as to the significant number of GP patients managing multiple health problems. GP records suggest that older people in particular are more likely to receive care for multiple health problems and are more likely to suffer from mental and physical health problems in tandem.
Increased Social Care funding to Health and Social Care Partnerships and a new Carers Act coming into effect in April 2018 will also assist older people who are more likely to be carers, and who tend to provide more hours of care.
The number of people with cancer increases with age, hence the increased funding to enhance cancer services in Scotland will be of benefit. 2018-19 will be the second year of a five-year commitment to invest £100 million to improve services. New funding for weight management will also provide support for older people as obesity rates increase with age before peaking amongst those aged 65 to 74. This investment will be supported by the Scottish Government’s developing strategy for diet and obesity, and by action to progress measures to limit the marketing of products high in fat, sugar and salt.
The Draft Budget invests significantly in domestic energy efficiency programmes such as Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme; Warmer Homes Scotland and Home Energy Scotland to help people vulnerable to fuel poverty which includes almost half of older households.
The Housing budget supports the ambitious target of delivering 50,000 new affordable homes and the adaptation of existing Housing Association homes, both of which can have positive impacts for older people. Other programmes also assist older people to move into more suitable owner-occupied housing through ongoing funding of Open Market Shared Equity and Help to Buy (Scotland), both of which have specific support for older people.
The Draft Budget retains its commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of the Concessionary Travel Scheme, currently providing free bus travel on local or Scottish long-distance buses for Scotland’s older people and disabled people. The scheme has positive impacts on the physical and mental wellbeing of cardholders, helping to reduce social isolation.
The Draft Budget is increasing spend on activities to tackle air and noise pollution, including an increase in funding for certain local authorities to monitor air quality and to support actions such as Low Emission Zones. It also supports flood risk management activities. We know that older people are more susceptible to the impacts of poor air quality and find it difficult to prepare for, respond to, and recover from flooding, so this additional funding will be welcome.
The Equality budget will support a range of work to help older people have their voices heard in policy making, including a fund of £500,000 per annum to deliver the aims of the Scottish Government’s proposed social isolation and loneliness strategy.
A number of the elements in the Draft Budget 2018-19 specifically affect disabled people and will help to deliver actions in the ‘Fairer Scotland for Disabled People’ action plan.
As noted above, many of the early years, learning and Developing the Young Workforce related funded programmes in the Draft Budget are being increasingly targeted or made available to disabled children or families including a disabled person. For example, disabled children are one of the priority groups for access to early learning as part of the childcare expansion programme, and specific improvement targets are in place to increase participation of disabled people in the Modern Apprentice programme. A new fund in the Education budget ( ELC Inclusion Fund) will be used to support staff training and equipment for disabled children and children with additional support needs ( ASN); and separate resource has been identified for organisations which support children and young people with complex ASN to ensure they achieve positive outcomes.
A ‘Fairer Scotland for Disabled People’ set a target of halving the employment gap for disabled people. Devolution of employability powers has allowed the Scottish Government scope to begin to address this with Fair Start Scotland, an employability support service targeting support for disabled people.
In the recent examination by the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Scottish Government’s ‘ Accessible Travel Framework’ was singled out as deserving of recognition. In 2018-19, the framework will focus on providing accessibility training to customer-facing staff, tackling hate crime through our pilot charter, and strengthening the governance of the framework by creating a Scottish Strategic Travel Accessibility Board. Alongside the continued budget for the concessionary bus pass scheme for disabled people, there are a number of supportive budgetary impacts, including removing barriers to accessibility on the Trunk Road Network and accessibility improvements with Scotrail.
The Draft Budget recognises that housing is a key issue for disabled people via a number of investments. Social rented housing is a particularly important tenure for long-term sick and disabled people, so the funded commitment to build 50,000 affordable homes, which wherever possible comply with essential aspects of Housing for Varying Needs, will be helpful. In addition, the funding of new specialist housing, priority for Open Market Shared Equity housing, adaptations of existing housing and funding for energy efficiency measures through the Warmer Homes Fund will all specifically benefit disabled people. We have also maintained budgets for Discretionary Housing Benefit to continue to fully mitigate the effects of the bedroom tax which disproportionately impacts on disabled people.
Many aspects of the increasing Health budget will impact positively on disabled people. These include increased investment in the primary care fund; increased Social Care funding to Health and Social Care Partnerships; and additional investment over the next five years for 800 additional mental health workers in key settings such as Accident and Emergency, GP practices, police station custody suites, and to our prisons. Maintained funding to the Independent Living Fund will continue to deliver support payments to disabled people with high support needs, and a new £5 million fund aims to help young people aged 16 to 21 participate in and contribute to their local community.
Self-Directed Support ( SDS) allows users of social care to choose how their support is provided and gives them control of their individual budget. A reduction in funding for SDS could have a negative impact on the range of individuals using social care services, including disabled adults and children. However, the revised figure is in line with actual transformation spending in 2017-18 and should not significantly constrain the support available or have negative equality impacts.
The Draft Budget 2018-19 has a range of implications for race equality. It will help us to implement both the ‘Race Equality Framework’ which sets out a long term partnership approach for promoting race equality and tackling racism, the newly launched ‘Race Equality Action Plan’ and our work to prevent and address all forms of hate crime based on ethnicity (racism).
The Draft Budget will allow the Scottish Government to progress actions and activities for Gypsy/Travellers as set out in the Race Equality Action Plan, but in addition we have also established a Ministerial Working Group to determine priorities for action and drive forward change.
Specific funded programmes in the Education budget are targeted or made available to minority ethnic children to try to tackle inequalities. For example, some minority ethnic groups have priority access to early learning and childcare as part of the expansion programme; attainment funding that is targeted at deprived areas may have beneficial impacts because some ethnic groups such as White Gypsy/Traveller, Polish, Caribbean/ Black, African and Arab groups are over-represented in the most deprived areas; and portfolio funding programmes aiming to tackle child poverty may also have positive impacts given a higher prevalence for poverty amongst some ethnic minorities.
Devolution of employability powers has allowed the Scottish Government the scope to begin to address lower employment rates for ethnic minorities with Fair Start Scotland, an employability support service targeting support to increase participation of ethnic minorities in the labour market.
People of other nationalities make up a large proportion of those who are referred to human trafficking-related services. The Draft Budget allows for continued investment in measures to address human trafficking and exploitation and to support its victims.
Scotland is proud to have received almost 2,000 Syrian refugees since October 2015. The Draft Budget allows us to continue to work with our partners, including COSLA and the Scottish Refugee Council, to implement the second ‘ New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy’ which supports all refugees and asylum seekers to integrate and rebuild their lives from the day they arrive in our communities. It will also support the roll-out of a Family Reunion Crisis Grant Fund – a commitment of the Scottish Government to simplify access to crisis grants for refugee families arriving in Scotland under Family Reunion rules.
Religion And Belief
The Equality budget will continue to fund a range of activity to support faith groups and tackle discrimination.
The launch of our hate crime campaign, #HateHasNoHomeInScotland, marks the beginning of an ambitious programme of work following recommendations made by the Independent Advisory Group on Hate Crime, Prejudice and Community Cohesion. This is an issue that crosses most protected characteristics. The increased Equality budget will allow us to continue to work with faith groups and others to identify those individuals who are most vulnerable to messages of hate to steer them towards a different path. Our funding for Interfaith Scotland and local interfaith work will also help to foster more inclusive communities through the promotion of interfaith dialogue.
Following the end of time-limited funding for sectarianism community projects in 2017-18, we will take forward and embed the learning from these and continue to take a stand against sectarianism wherever it exists.
Additional resources will help National Registers of Scotland to inform their understanding of the specific needs of faith and cultural groups as they develop the Census 2021 and as part of normal processes and procedures such as the death certification process.
Within the Scottish Government estate contemplation rooms are being established and set up as a ‘neutral’ space which can be used by people of all faith groups and beliefs during breaks in the working day.
Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity And Intersex
The Draft Budget will help to build on the progress made on equality for LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) people which will continue to contribute to maintaining Scotland’s position as one of the most LGBTI-progressive countries in Europe. Specifically, it will help us to take forward the reform of gender recognition legislation, to develop baseline data on gender identity through our core Scottish Government surveys, and to allow National Registers of Scotland to invest in both Census questions on sexual orientation and appropriate services and systems. It will also support funding of our key stakeholders.
The Draft Budget’s increased investment in mental health will have a positive impact for LGBTI people who have higher rates of attempted suicide, depression, anxiety and self-harm.
Tackling hate crime continues to be a top priority for the Scottish Government and through the new campaign #HateHasNoHomeInScotland, we will work with LGBTI stakeholders to challenge discrimination and encourage understanding.
Within the Scottish Government administration, our work on increasing our diversity declaration rates has seen continued improvement across all protected characteristics. Scottish Government staff declaring their sexual orientation has increased from 61 per cent over the 12 months to 68 per cent in September 2017 with 3.1 per cent of staff now identifying as LGBO at that date. We also work closely with LGBT organisations to raise awareness of our MA programme.
In 2017, COPFS retained the title of the top public sector employer in Scotland in Stonewall UK’s Workplace Equality Index. This is indicative of their commitment to ensuring an inclusive workforce, support for victims and witnesses, and increasing public confidence in the prosecution service. The wider Scottish Government also continues to perform well in the Workplace Equality Index having been recognised by Stonewall UK as the ‘Most Improved Scottish Employer’ in 2017.
Being socio-economically disadvantaged means living in less favourable social and economic circumstances than others in the same society. Features of socio-economic disadvantage can include low income and living in a deprived area. Socio-economically disadvantaged households have a higher risk of experiencing poor outcomes in terms of a range of issues such as education, health, poverty and crime. For example, we know that while overall recorded crime is at a 43-year low, people living in deprived areas are more likely to experience crime and civil justice problems. It is important to remember that people with other protected characteristics are quite often also socio-economically disadvantaged or living in deprived areas, so it is important to consider the intersectional nature of disadvantage.
The Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill has set ambitious targets in statute to eradicate child poverty which is vital in reducing negative outcomes for children as they grow up. Moving children out of poverty means moving their families out of poverty and there are obvious benefits across protected characteristics, bearing in mind the high poverty risk of lone parents and disabled and minority ethnic families with children.
A specific £50 million Tackling Child Poverty Fund has been identified in the Draft Budget for the period of the first delivery plan. This will be supported by a wide range of other initiatives across portfolios, for example, the Fair Start programme will help and encourage parents and others into work. £1.5 million will provide for a Family Financial Health Check Guarantee to help families with children claim all that they are entitled to, and to access the best deals on financial products, services and energy bills. The Draft Budget will also enable continued measures to tackle food insecurity and supports a range of third sector organisations that work on this agenda, including the Poverty Alliance and the Poverty Truth Commission.
Key to tackling poverty and socio-economic disadvantage is supporting communities to develop action on their own terms. Through the Empowering Communities Fund we continue to support over 300 community organisations to deliver locally-identified priorities to tackle poverty and inequality in a responsive way (including money advice, childcare, training and up-skilling, healthy eating initiatives and volunteering opportunities).
Closing the poverty related attainment gap in education is a key priority of the Scottish Government. Research has found that children from more disadvantaged families benefit more from high quality Early Learning and Childcare, and so investment in the expansion of childcare will support these efforts – especially as local authorities have been asked to phase in the early learning and childcare expansion based on Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation data. The Education budget also invests heavily in the Attainment Scotland Fund, including £120.5 million of Pupil Equity Funding allocated directly to schools on the basis of the number of children in P1 to S3 eligible for free school meals. Funding is also continued for the Education Maintenance Allowance ( EMA) programme allowing young people from low-income households to overcome financial barriers to participate in appropriate school or college courses or Activity Agreements.
New investment to support the National Film and Television School ( NFTS) to establish a base in Scotland will help to break down barriers to entry into the screen industry. The aspiration of the NFTS project is that a third of total places should be funded by bursaries so as to widen recruitment to those disadvantaged in particular by their socio-economic background, gender or disability.
VisitScotland has a key role in ensuring Scotland is an inclusive, welcoming destination. The Culture budget supports VisitScotland to work with the industry and the Family Holiday Association to provide vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Scotland a short break or day out via ScotSpirit 2017.
Access to quality greenspace is often an issue for socio-economically disadvantaged people. The Environment budget funds Central Scotland Green Network ( CSGN) Trust and a range of other activities to improve the quality of publicly-owned green spaces for recreation and community use, and will target improvements in the most disadvantaged areas.
In 2018-19, the Scottish Government will invest an additional £20 million in alcohol and drugs services. This will be of particular benefit to those living in deprived areas who are significantly more likely to experience an alcohol- or drug-related hospital admission and significantly more likely to suffer an alcohol- or drug-related death than those living in the least deprived areas. Obesity rates for both adults and children are generally higher for those living in more deprived areas, so new funding for weight management action could have a beneficial impact here. Likewise, cancer incidence and mortality rates are higher amongst individuals from deprived areas. Funding to enhance cancer services, including preventative efforts, will be of benefit to socio-economically disadvantaged people. Investment in active travel, cycling and walking will double for 2018-19. This investment will benefit those living in the most deprived areas of Scotland where levels of car ownership are lowest, and yet where levels of physical activity are also lowest.
The Scottish Welfare Fund ( SWF) acts as a safety net for vulnerable people on low incomes. It provides Crisis Grants, which help those facing disaster or emergency situations, and Community Care Grants, which help people live independently, preventing the need for institutional care. The SWF has benefited from consistent investment levels for the last five years and this has been maintained in 2018-19.