Russell Gunson, Director of IPPR Scotland responded to the Draft Scotland Budget
The draft budget has a number of welcome measures called for by IPPR Scotland. This includes a doubling of the Scottish Child Payment, improved wages for social care staff, funding for a just transition to net zero and the freezing of the higher rate income tax threshold below inflation - raising much-needed additional funding for public services from higher earners.
"This draft budget has been delivered at a time of great uncertainty as we don't yet know what the impact of the Omicron variant will be. It's essential for the UK government to commit to offering the Scottish Government the financial support and flexibility it needs, should additional Covid protections be needed in Scotland over the coming months.
To build a fairer Scotland than the one that entered the pandemic we need to reshape the economy and build fairness in from the start. This will need to see significantly stronger action from government to deliver fair work and living hours across the economy.
It's especially positive to see ambitious investments in building an anti-poverty Scotland, particularly bringing forward the doubling of the Scottish Child Payment to 20 a week from April 2022, as announced last week. This is a measure that will support 400,000 families and lift 30,000 children out of poverty. We're pleased to have supported this policy alongside many others across Scotland. However, to meet Scotland's legally binding targets on reducing child poverty, agreed by all parties in the parliament, we will need to see further action on poverty over the coming years.
Rosie Lockwood, head of media and advocacy for IPPR Scotland on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07585772633.
IPPR Scotland Director Russell Gunson is available for interview.
IPPR Scotland is Scotland's progressive think tank. We are cross-party, progressive, and neutral on the question of Scotland's independence. IPPR Scotland is dedicated to supporting and improving public policy in Scotland, working tirelessly to achieve a progressive Scotland. For more information, visit: https://www.ippr.org/scotland