News In Focus
MSPs call for views on Child Poverty Bill provisions
Views on the value of the targets proposed to be enacted in the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill are being invited by Holyrood's Social Security Committee.
MSPs on the committee will be considering evidence during March and April in their stage 1 scrutiny of the bill, and written submissions are invited, to be received by Thursday 23 March.
The bill focuses on high level strategic outcomes, establishing a framework for reducing child poverty and putting in place mechanisms to assess progress (click here for Journal news item). It does not extend to specific policy measures that could contribute to reducing child poverty, sets statutory targets to be met by ministers relating to child poverty, with a requirement to prepare delivery plans and annual progress reports. Local authorities and health boards will also be required 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 statutory child poverty targets should be reintroduced for Scotland;
- the appropriateness and scope of the four 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 the bill, the Scottish Government has committed to establishing a national poverty and inequality commission. The MSPs also invite submissions on what this commission’s status and powers should be in relation to this bill, along with any other issues resopondents think are relevant to the bill.
Click here to view the call for evidence.