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by Andrew Learmonth
17 August 2021
Scottish Government start work on Minimum Income Guarantee policy

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Scottish Government start work on Minimum Income Guarantee policy

The Scottish Government will today begin work plan to help eradicate poverty by establishing a Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG).

Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison is set to chair the first meeting of a new steering group responsible for developing the policy. 

The group will comprise of two-subgroups, a strategy group of MSPs, chaired by the SNP minister, and an expert group, including those with lived experience of poverty, chaired by Russell Gunson, Director of the Institute for Public Policy Research in Scotland

A consultation on how the MIG should work has also been launched. 

A recent report by the IPPR suggested the policy could be costly. To make sure that no couple earned less than £1,244 a month, and no single household had an income of less than £792 a month, plus additional payments for children, would cost £7billion.

The MIG is not the same as a basic income, it can be met through a combination of employment, tax relief and social security benefits and also services in kind, such as childcare and transport.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Robison said: “We are committed to progressing the delivery of a Minimum Income Guarantee, which could be revolutionary in our fight against poverty. It is a clear demonstration of our ambition and aspiration for Scotland.

“The policy is innovative, bold and radical. It reflects our clear desire to do everything with our limited powers to deliver the change needed, using every lever at our disposal.

“Eradicating child poverty and building a fairer, more equal country must be a national mission, not just for the government, but our parliament and broader society.

“We recognise this is a cross-government responsibility and we are focused on working together to push forward poverty reduction in Scotland.

“We must look at ways of maximising household incomes from work and social security, as well as reducing costs on essentials including services such as childcare.

“Introducing a Minimum Income Guarantee will not be easy and it will not happen overnight, but there is a willingness to deliver on our ambition.”

Gunson said: “A Minimum Income Guarantee could transform the lives of people across Scotland, setting an income floor in Scotland beneath which no one would fall.

“To build a fairer and stronger Scotland following Covid-19 we will need to think big ideas in Scotland and think just as big on how to implement them.

“The MIG Steering Group is a great step, bringing cross-party representatives and experts from across Scotland together to shape a Minimum Income Guarantee and make progress on delivering it.

“I’m delighted to be co-chair and look forward to working hard together to see tangible progress towards delivering a Minimum Income Guarantee for Scotland over the coming years.”
 

Read the most recent article written by Andrew Learmonth - The oldest Tory in Holyrood: An interview with Jackson Carlaw

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