Equalities Budget

– in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2018.

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Photo of Mary Fee Mary Fee Labour

12. To ask the Scottish Government how the United Kingdom budget will affect Scotland’s equalities budget. (S5O-02520)

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

Following the UK budget, the Scottish Government’s resource block grant from the UK Government—the money that we are able to invest in day-to-day public services—will be almost £2 billion lower in real terms next year than it was in 2010-11.

For 2018-19, we have increased our budget for specific equalities activities by 12 per cent, to £22.7 million. That supports work to prevent discrimination, promote human rights and build more cohesive communities. Decisions on the budget allocation for equalities-related activity for next year will be taken as part of the process to develop the Scottish budget, which will be presented to Parliament on 12 December.

Photo of Mary Fee Mary Fee Labour

This Parliament is a human rights guarantor and, as such, should be a bulwark against regressive, austerity-driven economic policies. What direct action will the cabinet secretary take to ensure a holistic approach to equalities, with focused, joint work across portfolios, to ensure the best outcomes for equality spend?

Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

That is an important question, and Mary Fee makes an important point. It is appropriate that the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government leads on this work, considering that it is within an area of her responsibility, but the work will be absolutely aligned across Government, to make sure that there is a cohesive focus on the equalities agenda and on the resources being there to support that work.