Our plan for Scotland: tackling poverty and inequality

We have set out bold new measures to make Scotland the fairer nation we all want it to be. Here’s just some of what we’ll do in the next year to tackle poverty and inequality.

Establishing a fairer social security system


  • Scotland’s new social security agency will be headquartered in Dundee, with a further site in Glasgow. At least 1,500 jobs will be created by the establishment of the agency, evenly divided between the two cities.
  • An increased Carer’s Allowance will be delivered from next year.
  • A new Best Start Grant will be introduced from summer 2019 – supporting low income families at key stages of a child’s early years.
  • Councils looking to pilot the feasibility of a citizens’ basic income scheme can apply for funding from the Scottish Government

Tackling poverty


  • As part of our Fairer Scotland Action Plan, from April 2018, public sector bodies will have a duty to consider what more they can do tackle poverty and inequality when making key decisions.
  • We have passed a Child Poverty Bill to introduce income based child poverty targets. The Bill sets out new targets for eradicating child poverty, tougher than those scrapped by the Tory government at Westminster. Read more here.
  • We have established a Poverty and Inequality Commission to provide advice to Scottish Government Ministers and monitor progress on tackling poverty and inequality.
  • We will reform education to tackle the attainment gap between pupils from the least and most wealthy backgrounds, with £120 million of the £750 million Scottish Attainment Challenge going directly to headteachers.
  • The lack of access to sanitary products will be tackled with provision for students in schools, colleges and universities from August next year.
  • Next year we will start the roll-out of a Family Financial Health Check Guarantee, which will provide advice on benefits, managing money and getting the best deal for financial products and services.

A warm, affordable home for all


  • Progress will continue towards delivering 50,000 affordable homes before the next Scottish Parliament election.
  • We will set a new national objective of ending rough sleeping, with a new £50 million fund to support anti-homelessness initiatives.
  • We have launched a consultation on a Warm Homes Bill that will set a new statutory target to reduce fuel poverty.