Naomi Eisenstadt, Scotland's independent adviser on poverty and inequality, reveals her 15 recommendations to the Scottish Government
Over the past six months Scotland’s independent adviser has consulted stakeholders across Scotland, including people with experience of living in poverty. Here are her 15 recommendations to the Scottish Government:
1. Build on Living Wage Accreditation – a focus on larger employers, and on incentives, would be useful.
2. Encourage pay ratio disclosure as a way of tackling pay inequality.
3. Ensure childcare commitments focus on quality to improve outcomes, and consider providing a limited number of free hours of childcare for primary school aged children.
4. Make family flexible working more explicit within the Business Pledge, and consider whether approaches such as the Timewise programme could promote flexible working.
5. Do more to ensure that people claim the benefits they are entitled to.
6. Make effective use of new social security powers but proceed with caution.
7. Build more social housing.
8. Ensure fuel poverty programmes are focused to support those on low incomes, and do more to tackle the poverty premium in home energy costs.
9. Be bold on local tax reform.
Life chances of young people, aged 16-24
10. Carry out a comprehensive review of the policies and services relevant older children and young adults, with particular emphasis on those from poorer backgrounds.
11. Reduce the number of government-supported employment programmes targeting this group of young people and simplify the landscape, to provide a clearer, sharper focus.
12. Ensure that the new approach to employer engagement in education is having an impact on improving skills for work of young people.
13. Do more to tackle occupational segregation.
14. Ensure that public service delivery is respectful, person-centred and preserves the dignity of people in poverty: pre-employment and in-service training should include the importance of avoiding stigma and understanding the challenges of living on low incomes.
15. Commence the socio-economic duty in the Equality Act 2010, when powers are available.