The Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee is seeking views on the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill. The Committee will be considering evidence during March and April with a view to reporting its views on the general principles of the Bill in May.
The Bill is narrow and confined to high level strategic outcomes. It establishes a framework for reducing child poverty and puts in place mechanisms to assess progress. The Bill does not extend to specific policy measures that could contribute to reducing child poverty. The Scottish Government’s Child Poverty Measurement Framework (CPMF) contains 37 indicators under three headings: pockets, prospects and places.
The Bill establishes statutory targets to be met by Scottish Ministers relating to child poverty and a requirement to prepare delivery plans and annual progress reports. It requires local authorities and health boards to report jointly on what local actions are being taken to contribute to meeting the targets. The Committee would be interested to hear views on the following:
- Whether you agree that statutory child poverty targets should be re-introduced for Scotland?
- The appropriateness and scope of the 4 proposed targets,
- Whether interim targets are needed,
- The proposed arrangements for reporting progress towards meeting the targets and how best to hold the Scottish Government to account,
- The responsibility placed on local councils and health boards to make local progress reports,
- The existing Child Poverty Measurement Framework and its 37 indicators,
- Although not in this Bill, the Scottish Government has committed to establishing a national poverty and inequality commission. What should this commission’s status and powers be in relation to this Bill?
- Any other issues you think are relevant to this Bill.
How to submit written evidence
The Committee would be grateful to receive written submissions by Thursday 23 March. Before making a submission, please read the Parliament’s policy on treatment of written evidence by subject and mandatory committees. In general, written submissions should be concise, no more than 4 sides of A4 and it is helpful if they are set out in numbered paragraphs. Submissions should be sent electronically (in word format) to [email protected]
For any questions, the Social Security Committee clerking team can be contacted on the same email address or on 0131 348 5320.
It is for the Committee to decide who it wants to hear from at its meetings and it would be helpful, in making a submission, to indicate whether you would wish to be invited to give oral evidence.