News

Putting human rights at the heart of Scotland’s budget

Section: Policy into PracticeThe ALLIANCEType: News Item Date Published: 22nd September 2021
Human Rights image

The ALLIANCE has submitted views on what should be included in the Scottish Government budget for 2022-23.

The ALLIANCE has responded to the Equality, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee on what should be included in the Scottish Government’s budget for 2022-23 (this link will take you away from our website).

The significant impact of COVID-19, and responses taken to it, will be felt for many years to come, including on the economy. The ALLIANCE believes that it is possible to embed equality, transparency, and people’s participation in Scotland’s economy in order to achieve transformational and positive change that works for everyone.

The response outlines how human rights can be protected and fulfilled in the way public money is raised, allocated and spent:

  • Adopting a human rights based approach (HRBA) to Scotland’s budget would embed human rights based values like equality, transparency and participation in financial decision making. To facilitate a shift towards equality in the Scottish budget process, governments should explicitly recognise rights in their budgetary decisions. This should identify economic, social and cultural rights, as well as rights for disabled people, women and minority ethnic communities.
  • COVID-19 – and responses taken to it – have disproportionately impacted the rights and lives of particular population groups across Scotland. A HRBA recognises that budgetary decisions have different impacts on different population groups. Particular emphasis should be placed on seldom heard people who are more likely to require state support, and who often tell us that their human rights are not fulfilled.
  • Carrying out robust and timely Equality and Human Rights Impact Assessments (EQHRIAs) would help to identify and mitigate the disproportionate impacts that we often see in financial decision making. This is a practical tool that should be used both at the early stages to inform economic policy, and after the policy has been implemented to assess its impact.
  • Work is needed to facilitate meaningful and active participation of rights holders in Scotland’s budget process. This should be ongoing, accessible and inclusive to ensure ‘hard to reach’ and ‘seldom heard voices’ are heard, and barriers to participation are removed.
  • More sustainable resources are needed in Scotland’s third sector, and in the social care sector. The contribution of the third sector to Scotland’s people, society and economy remains unrecognised and undervalued. Similarly, there have long been calls for greater investment in social care as part of the shift from acute services towards preventative, community-based support.

You can read the full response at the link below.

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