Pre-budget scrutiny 2021-22 – impact of COVID-19 on equalities and human rights



The Committee would like to hear your views on what the impact of Covid-19 is on equalities and human rights budgets?

As part of our work on the Scottish Government’s Budget 2021-22,

  • we want to hear your views on: making equalities and human rights central to budget decisions
  • the financial impact of Covid-19 on third sector equalities and rights organisations
  • how inequalities highlighted by Covid-19 can be addressed in Scotland’s economic recovery

The Committee anticipates hearing oral evidence in October and so it would be helpful to have views on the financial impact of Covid-19 by 18 September. This short inquiry supports the Committee’s main inquiry exploring the wider impact of Covid-19 on equalities and human rights, and you can still submit your views to that inquiry:


Call for views - background

Every year we look at the Scottish Government’s plans for its budget and make recommendations. This year we are focussing on the impact of Covid-19 on equalities and human rights budgets as we know the challenges faced by people in Scotland.

We want to know if Covid-19 has affected funding to help people be treated equally and to access their rights. We also want to look at how the Scottish Government considers equalities and human rights when it makes budget decisions.

We want to know what actions you think should be taken and what data needs to be collected to make this happens more effectively. The Scottish Government is committed to a “wellbeing economy” (an economy that is inclusive and sustainable) after the Covid 19 crisis.

This means targeting economic recovery to improve inequalities, like social and health inequality and the unequal impact of Covid-19 on specific groups, such as women, ethnic communities, people with a disability and young people.


We are looking for information about the following questions. You can answer as many as you like. The deadline for sending your views is Friday 18 September 2020:

  1. Last year we were successful in getting the Scottish Government to commit to increasing the Equalities and Human Rights allocation to £30.2m. What is this extra money being used for and is it enough?
  2. During last year’s budget scrutiny, we found that spending decisions were sometimes being made without due consideration to equality impact assessments. With unprecedented levels of grants being provided to the private and third sectors over the past six months in response to COVID 19, how confident is the third sector and other stakeholders that money is being committed only after due consideration is given to equality impacts?
  3. In the Scottish Government’s response to the Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, the Scottish Government has committed (p.69-70) to “recognise the necessity of embedding an Equalities and Human Rights approach across our policy thinking and development for economic recovery and renewal.” It has listed what it’s done so far to help meet this commitment and what it intends to do in the near future. What more should be done and how can the 2021-22 budget contribute?
  4. Any other relevant comments?

How to submit your views

Your response does not need to cover all the areas specified and can just focus on those that are relevant to you or your organisation. You are also welcome to provide other information that you feel would be relevant.

The call for written views on will close on Friday 18 September 2020.

Before making a submission, please read our privacy notice about submitting your views to a Committee. This tells you about how we process your personal information.

Please note that in most cases your written submission will be published on the Scottish Parliament’s website and may be quoted in the Committee’s report or in Committee meetings (which are public and broadcast).

We would be grateful if you could keep your submission to a maximum of 4 sides of A4. Written responses should be sent electronically in Word format (not PDF) to the following address: [email protected].

We encourage members of underrepresented groups to submit evidence. We also welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the agreement of the Committee. Please also note submissions with defamatory content, references to ongoing court cases or third parties’ personal information will not be published.

If you wish to request that your submission be published without your name, please contact us ([email protected] or 0131 348 6040).


Call for views - Responses

Aberdeenshire Council (141KB pdf)

Amnesty Scotland (125KB pdf)

COSLA (498KB pdf)

Engender (197kb pdf)

Equality and human rights commission (126KB pdf)

Glasgow Equality Forum (126KB pdf)

SAMH (141KB pdf)

Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisation (114KB pdf)

Scottish Human Rights Commission (146KB pdf)

Scottish out of school care network (114KB pdf)

Scottish Women's Aid (111KB pdf)

Scottish Women's Budget Group (1.13MB pdf)

Scottish Women's Conventions (116KB pdf)



On 29 October 2020, the Committee wrote to the Scottish Government setting out its views from its Pre-Budget Scrutiny.

Letter to the Scottish Government on Pre-Budget Scrutiny 2021/22 (386KB pdf)



Letter dated 27 October from the Minister for Older People and Equalities to the Convener regarding further information following the Ministers evidence session on 8 October.

Letter and Annex dated 2 February 2021 received from the Minister for Older People and Equalities to the convener

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