Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017

Document Number:2017 asp 6
 
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The Bill for this Act of the Scottish Parliament was passed by the Parliament on 8 th November 2017 and received Royal Assent on 18 th December 2017

An Act of the Scottish Parliament to set targets relating to the eradication of child poverty; to make provision about plans and reports relating to the targets; and to establish the Poverty and Inequality Commission and provide for its functions.

Targets relating to child poverty

12030 targets

(1) The Scottish Ministers must ensure that the 2030 targets are met in the financial year beginning with 1 April 2030.

(2) The 2030 targets are that, of children living in households in Scotland—

(a) less than 10% fall within section 3 (relative poverty) ,

(b) less than 5% fall within section 4 (absolute poverty) ,

(c) less than 5% fall within section 5 (combined low income and material deprivation) ,

(d) less than 5% fall within section 6 (persistent poverty).

2 Interim targets

(1) The Scottish Ministers must ensure that the interim targets are met in the financial year beginning with 1 April 2023.

(2) The interim targets are that, of children living in households in Scotland—

(a) less than 18% fall within section 3 (relative poverty) ,

(b) less than 14% fall within section 4 (absolute poverty) ,

(c) less than 8% fall within section 5 (combined low income and material deprivation) ,

(d) less than 8% fall within section 6 (persistent poverty).

3 Relative poverty

A child falls within this section in a financial year if the child lives in a household whose equivalised net income for the year is less than 60% of median equivalised net household income for the year.

4 Absolute poverty

(1) A child falls within this section in a financial year if the child lives in a household whose equivalised net income for the year is less than 60% of the amount of median equivalised net household income for the financial year beginning with 1 April 2010 , adjusted to take account of changes in the value of money since that financial year.

(2) The Scottish Ministers may by regulations substitute a different date for the date mentioned for the time being in subsection (1).

(3) Regulations under subsection (2) are subject to the affirmative procedure.

5 Combined low income and material deprivation

A child falls within this section in a financial year if the child—

(a) lives in a household whose equivalised net income for the year is less than 70% of median equivalised net household income for the year, and

(b) experiences material deprivation in the year.

6 Persistent poverty

(1) A child falls within this section in a financial year if the child has lived—

(a) in each of the survey years, in a household in Scotland, and

(b) in at least 3 of the survey years, in a household whose equivalised net income for the survey year was less than 60% of median equivalised net household income for the survey year.

(2) The survey years are—

(a) the calendar year that ends during the financial year, and

(b) the 3 previous calendar years.

7 Calculation of net household income

(1) For the purposes of this Act, the deductions to be made in calculating net household income include housing costs.

(2) In this Act—

“equivalised”, in relation to household income, means adjusted to take account of variations in household size and composition,

“median equivalised net household income” means the median equivalised net household income for the United Kingdom.

Poverty and Inequality Commission

8 Poverty and Inequality Commission

(1) The Poverty and Inequality Commission (in this Act, referred to as “the Commission”) is established.

(2) In addition to the functions specified in this Act, the Commission may—

(a) perform such other functions,

(b) prepare and publish such reports,

as it considers appropriate in connection with ensuring that the interim targets and the 2030 targets are met.

(3) The schedule makes further provision about the Commission.

Delivery plans and progress reports

9 Delivery plan

(1) The Scottish Ministers must prepare a plan (a “delivery plan”) for each of the following periods—

(a)1 April 2018 to 31 March 2022 ,

(b)1 April 2022 to 31 March 2026 ,

(c)1 April 2026 to 31 March 2031.

(2) A delivery plan must set out—

(a) the measures that the Scottish Ministers propose to take during the period of the plan for the purpose of meeting the child poverty targets,

(b) an assessment of the contribution the proposed measures are expected to make to meeting the child poverty targets,

(c) an explanation of how that assessment has been arrived at, and

(d) an assessment of the financial resources required to fund the proposed measures.

(3) A delivery plan must, in particular, set out what (if any) measures the Scottish Ministers propose to take in relation to—

(a) the provision of financial support for children and parents, including the making of such provision by virtue of Part 3 of the Scotland Act 2016 (welfare benefits and employment support) ,

(b) children living in households whose income is adversely affected, or whose expenditure is increased, because a member of the household has one or more protected characteristics,

(c) supporting local authorities to consider the automatic payment of benefits and support,

(d) the provision and accessibility of information, advice and assistance to parents in relation to—

(i) social security matters,

(ii) income maximisation,

(iii) financial support,

(e) education and, in particular, closing the attainment gap,

(f) the availability and affordability of housing,

(g) the availability and affordability of childcare,

(h) the facilitation of—

(i) the employment of parents (with remuneration that is sufficient to secure an adequate standard of living) , and

(ii) the development of the employment-related skills of parents,

(i) physical and mental health,

(j) children living in single-parent households,

(k) arrangements for setting the amount of the revenue support grant...

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