Report on Draft Budget 2014-15

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Report on Draft Budget 2014-15

CONTENTS

Approach
Cross-cutting issues

Human rights
Third-sector support and advocacy
Local authority funding and charging for care

Funding for personal support and independent living

Spending allocation for adults and children
Self-directed support
Independent Living Fund
Welfare reform
Access to education, training and employment

Access to services

Rural areas
Transport
Climate change

Children with disabilities

Children’s rights
Transition into adulthood
Support for parents

Equalities within other committees’ scrutiny of the Draft Budget

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee
Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee
European and External Relations Committee
Health and Sport Committee
Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee
Justice Committee
Local Government and Regeneration Committee
Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee
Welfare Reform Committee
Conclusion on other Committees’ scrutiny of the Draft Budget 2014-15

Annexe A: Extracts from the minutes of the Equal Opportunities Committee

Annexe B: Evidence – Equal Opportunities Committee

Report on Draft Budget 2014-15

The Committee reports to the Finance Committee as follows—

APPROACH

1. Throughout Session 4, our scrutiny of the Draft Budget has included, in addition to consideration of equality issues in general, an emphasis on specific protected characteristics. For the Draft Budget 2012-13, the emphasis was on race and religion. Women and employment formed the general theme of our scrutiny of the Draft Budget 2013-14.

2. We agreed to focus our scrutiny of the Draft Budget 2014-15 (“the Draft Budget”) on disability, and appointed as our adviser Professor Nicholas Watson of the Strathclyde Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Glasgow. Written evidence was sought on the following themes from stakeholders—

  • funding for personal support and independent living
  • access to Services
  • children with disabilities

3. We received 19 submissions and, on 10 October, heard oral evidence from—

  • Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People;
  • Tressa Burke, Chief Executive, Glasgow Disability Alliance;
  • Etienne d'Aboville, Chief Executive, Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living;
  • Pam Duncan, Policy Officer, Independent Living in Scotland;
  • Florence Garabedian, Chief Executive, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living;
  • Bill Scott, Manager, Inclusion Scotland;
  • Sophie Pilgrim, Director, Kindred, and member, for Scotland's Disabled Children.

4. As well as identifying key concerns within the specific themes noted, we heard common themes relating to human rights, third-sector support, and local authorities’ role in providing support. We will begin by examining these areas before returning to the themes identified in our call for written evidence.

5. On the request of other committees, we have taken into account specific issues as part of our scrutiny. These requests were from—

  • the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, who asked that we include a focus on both climate change and on access to services in rural areas; and
  • the Welfare Reform Committee, who asked that we explore the impact of welfare reform

6. In scrutinising the Draft Budget, all committees are also asked to take into consideration equalities issues. A summary of other committees’ consideration of equality issues is included in this report (paragraph 141 onwards).

CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES

Human rights

7. Underpinning much of the evidence we received was a focus on disabled people’s human rights and how they are, or are not, reflected in the Draft Budget and other funding streams. Pam Duncan (Independent Living in Scotland (“ILiS”)) explained the importance of disabled people being able to participate in the political process1. She explained that, by involving disabled people in the budget planning process2 it is possible to get things right early on. She highlighted the importance of not empowering one person by disempowering another3. She said that disabled people’s involvement should not be about box-ticking—

“…we can help you to get these things right. After all, if disabled people had been involved in designing buses back in the day, we would not now be having to replace the fleet.”4

8. She argued that the “elastic in the budgets” for social care was not “simply stretched”, it had “snapped”.5 She went on to say that disabled people were being placed at a huge disadvantage as local authorities struggled—

“Without such care, I would not have been able to get out of bed this morning to do anything, never mind exercise my equal right to democracy and participate in this evidence-taking session. At this moment in time, the funding for the social care system is in crisis...

“Staff in the sector are experiencing incredible difficulty, particularly those on the front line, who are having to tell people that there is not quite enough money to give them the support that they need to participate fully in society, lead an ordinary life and uphold their human rights.”6

9. She also made the point that, where social care did not meet the needs of an individual, it was “often the women in the family” who took on the responsibility of caring for the disabled person”.7

10. Bill Scott (Inclusion Scotland) showed support for the Scottish Human Rights Commission (“SHRC”) standpoint that the budget should be not only outcome focused, but focused also on the achievement of human rights.8

11. Within most of the themes subsequently covered in this report, discrepancies and insufficiencies in support were cited by witnesses as being detrimental to the human rights of disabled people.

Scottish Government
12. Whilst he did not comment specifically on human rights issues, John Swinney MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth (“the Cabinet Secretary”), asserted that the equality budget statement demonstrated the Scottish Government’s “on-going commitment to embedding equality” in its budget process and to “making year-on-year improvements” in how it does that—

“I am committed to continuing to improve our approach to budget setting and equality analysis. As we progress with the reform of public services and with the shift to prevention, the challenges in equality analysis and assessment are likely to grow. We are aware of the difficulties in relation to data and information. We will continue to improve the availability of data, but we also need to explore what more can be done to understand better the impacts of key issues and of measures that are being taken.”9

Conclusion
13. The majority of witnesses emphasised not only that the development of an Equality Statement was a positive process, but also that it was, in the case of disabled people, one that was best reflected in a broad human-rights-based approach.

14. With respect to budget scrutiny, we would welcome an explanation of how human rights, as well as equality, are integral to the budget process and to the development of the Equality Budget Statement. We would, in particular, appreciate further information on how the Scottish Government involves disabled people in the budget planning process.

Third-sector support and advocacy

15. Witnesses explained that voluntary organisations were indispensable to disabled people, and their link to human rights was highlighted.10 In its submission, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland explained that the third sector, which provided over a third of all registered social care services, employed 5 per cent of Scotland’s workforce, and included around 1.2 million adult volunteers. Whilst welcoming the Scottish Government’s commitment to the living wage for the public sector workforce, the submission stated that—

“…this has resulted in an increasing inequity between people working in local authority social care (who will now all be paid the living wage), and people employed by third/independent sector providers commissioned by the local authority, who are often paid much less with poorer terms and conditions. In some instances this has led to the independent/third sectors pulling out of providing social care as they can’t provide a quality service for as little as they are being asked to. In these cases the services are brought back in-house and paid for at a much higher rate by the local authority.”11

16. Etienne d’Aboville (Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living (“GCIL”)) explained how GCIL worked with voluntary organisations to provide support—

“… we help people to negotiate their packages and make best use of the money. We do not explicitly advocate on behalf of people, because we are funded by the local authority, but we refer people to external advocacy organisations all the time, and it is well recognised that there is a huge need for more advocacy organisations that can play that role… We tend to find that it is the most articulate and able individuals or families who get the results and who can challenge decisions successfully.”12

17. The Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance highlighted in its submission the importance of specific funding for independent advocacy services.13 Tressa Burke (Glasgow Disability Alliance) spoke on similar lines—

“In relation to advocacy, it is important to emphasise that, at a time when disabled people are potentially experiencing the loss of the independent living allowance and the welfare reform impacts, with more cuts to services coming, and when they are suffering terrible stigma and discrimination following the media coverage of those things, disabled people need to be at their most assertive and articulate ever…

“Disabled people need access to legal representation and welfare benefits advice about the technicalities of the barriers and discrimination that they experience… They also need peer support and the ability to build up their confidence in their skills and sense of autonomy so that they can speak out in negotiating care packages and the services that they need.”14

18. Pam Duncan (ILiS) spoke of the important role of disabled people’s organisations—

“Statistics that we gave in our submission show the huge benefits of an employment service that is run by disabled people, in comparison with the workfare and work choice programmes. The statistics are staggering—when a programme was directed by a disabled people’s organisation, 82.4 per cent of participants gained full-time employment, but when that was not the case, the figure was 3.7 per cent.”15

19. The Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living (“LCiL”) gave an example of how cuts to voluntary sector funding could affect disabled people—

“On 30 June 2013, after five and a half years of operation, the Your Call National Telephone and Email Peer Counselling Service for disabled people and their families and carers (a service of LCiL) closed due to lack of funding. Your Call offered more than 3000 hours of counselling to more than 250 clients, 78% of whom reported that they had made positive changes in their lives. The service closed with a number of individuals still waiting to be supported. Your Call counsellors were professionally trained volunteer disabled people or people with long term conditions who greatly valued the opportunity to play such an important role while managing low energy levels and/or the symptoms of long term conditions. Clients of the service were mostly people who could not access other counselling services and couldn’t be reached by NHS services.”16

Scottish Government
20. The Cabinet Secretary, when asked about cuts to voluntary services and the associated budget streams, explained—

“The one third sector line for my portfolio in the budget sits at £24.5 million. It is at that level in 2013-14, it will be the same in 2014-15 and it is projected to be the same in 2015-16. That demonstrates that, in a very difficult financial climate, the Government is maintaining input of resources to the third sector in its strategic interaction with it.

“That said, very significant third sector funding support will also be made available in the health, justice, rural affairs, culture and education portfolios … I am confident that strong funding streams are available across a number of different portfolios.”17

21. When asked about the lack of clearly identifiable funding streams for third-sector organisations, he conceded that the Scottish Government had not amalgamated its funding streams that were going to the third sector, but that it was currently undertaking work on that.18

22. Commenting on whether the employment of third-sector organisations in the delivery of public services reduced the opportunities for them to provide independent advocacy, he explained—

“… some third sector organisations will not be interested in being public service delivery organisations because of their advocacy roles and responsibilities, and that is entirely appropriate. I suppose that the issue is that any hybrid organisations should not lose their ability to champion issues through being part of the delivery mechanisms. However, I would not want the committee to think anything other than that I am pursuing a strategy that is designed to get the third sector more actively involved in the delivery of public services, because I think that that would be a good thing for our public services and for the individuals who rely on them.”19

Conclusion
23. It is clear that the role of the third sector in delivering support and advocacy services to disabled people is indispensable, and a key part of the Scottish Government’s support strategy.

24. We welcome the Scottish Government’s acknowledgement of the third sector’s role in providing support and services; however, we observe that its funding streams are not immediately evident in the Draft Budget. We acknowledge that there are many sources of support for third-sector organisations, however we would appreciate clarity on which funding streams the Scottish Government directly controls, and how this support has changed over time.

Local authority funding and charging for care

25. Much of the evidence we heard outlined the extreme challenges faced by disabled people in accessing social care services delivered through local authorities. This was also reflected in a report by the adviser to the Finance Committee20 which suggested that “ the financial sustainability of free universal services with delivery bodies” should be explored, thereby implying that charges were not already in wide use across Scotland.

26. Pam Duncan (ILiS) stated that the social care system was currently “in crisis”21 and suggested that local authorities were addressing that in three ways—

“First, they are setting very high eligibility criteria that pay absolutely no regard to prevention and result in many people dropping out of the system. Across the piece, there is unmet need that is not being recorded and, because we do not really know what the real need is and we have not taken a human rights-based approach, we are finding it difficult to set our budgets in Scotland. I urge the committee to examine that issue...

“Secondly, local authorities are charging disabled people more for social care services. In recent times, there has been a 12 per cent increase in charges at a time when, taking into account the extra costs of being disabled, about 47.5 per cent of disabled people are living in poverty...

“Finally, local authorities are kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul by telling people, “You’ve got a Rolls-Royce package” when in fact it is just a bog-standard Corsa.”22

27. Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People (“SCCYP”), suggested that leaving funding decisions in the hands of local authorities may not be the most effective approach—

“I understand the rationale behind wanting to build as much flexibility as possible into funding at the local level. However, if the evidence is that policies are not benefiting specific groups—for instance, young people with disabilities—there must be remedial action to correct the laissez-faire, flexible approach because the funding is not reaching the parts that it needs to reach.”23

28. Witnesses expressed concerns that the council tax freeze was continuing at the expense of disabled people. Bill Scott (Inclusion Scotland) said—

“I think that the freeze is being funded partly through increased charges on disabled people. Put simply, you cannot have an indefinite freeze funded by an additional—but stand-still—£70 million each year that does not take inflation into account and hope that services will remain unchanged and undiminished… They might be the exception, but some disabled people are losing 100 per cent of their disposable income as a result of charges.”24

29. Expressing a view that was echoed by Pam Duncan25 and Tressa Burke26, Bill Scott continued—

“I know that the council tax is a massively regressive tax and that lifting the freeze would have a real impact on many disabled people who are employed on low wages or who are in entry-level jobs and who, because they have a small income, would not receive any relief. As we said when we were asked about this in the previous parliamentary session, our preferred option is for the council tax to be replaced with a less regressive form of taxation rather than just that the freeze be lifted, but we need to get into that debate.”27

30. The issue of charging for care services was also raised as a particular concern by all witnesses. According to Learning Disability Alliance Scotland, there had been, across Scotland, a rise in care charges, and local authorities were charging on average 12.6 per cent more than they had been two years ago28. Pam Duncan (ILiS) suggested that “community care should be free at the point of need”29 in the same way as the NHS30, and explained—

“Professor Bell of the University of Stirling suggests that the costs of care are set to rise at three times the rate of national health service costs. That is a pretty stark figure. I think that we need to prioritise social care as the infrastructure for equality and human rights”.31

31. Tressa Burke (Glasgow Disability Alliance) agreed—

“We feel that social care should be free at the point of delivery… perhaps a social care commission could be located within another commission such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission or the Scottish Human Rights Commission. We need that commission to undertake a specific piece of work on why social care is a rising tax paid for by disabled people and by no other part of society, whereas, due to historical legacies, the decision has been taken that education, health and other services should remain free.”32

32. Etienne d’Aboville (GCIL) explained the effect of care charges on portability of care and freedom of movement—

“Some people may not be able to move because in the area that they want to move into—whether to get a job or whatever—the charging policy and other local policies relating to social care mean that it is impossible for them to do so.”33

33. Tam Baillie (SCCYP) expanded on this—

“… when we did the trawl of local authority provision it was clear that there are inconsistencies in the application of thresholds for access to services. Beyond that, when we speak to voluntary sector colleagues we find that there is consistency in the squeeze… One of the main challenges is to get consistent application of what is sometimes quite good legislation. For example, the application of the additional support for learning legislation is very patchy across the country, as is the implementation of many other areas of policy.”34

Scottish Government
34. Asked to comment on witnesses’ concerns that the council tax freeze was continuing at the expense of disabled people, the Cabinet Secretary said—

“I could make the argument that the Government was giving local authorities more money than they required to freeze the council tax, because inflation was not as high as the 3.2 per cent that I envisaged when I set out the £70 million of support in 2008-09…

“I respect the points of view that they have put forward, but I do not agree with them… First, the council tax freeze has been fully funded by the Scottish Government in each year. Secondly, local authority finance has increased at a faster rate than Scottish Government finance has done. It is essential that the issue of charging is considered in that context.”35

35. On the issues of charges varying between local authorities, he stated—

“Local authorities have a proper and legitimate role in designing their local services and deciding on the charging mechanisms, so I have no plans to make that a Government responsibility.”36

36. He also clarified that—

“… it is important that local authorities demonstrate the basis on which a charging regime is taken forward.”37

Conclusion
37. The evidence we received set out a clear view that the funding currently being provided through the public sector is insufficient to meet the needs of many disabled people. Combined with an understandable tightening of eligibility criteria, used to focus some types of support on the most severely disabled, this means that opportunities are now being missed to take a preventative approach. We heard that nearly half of disabled people now live in poverty, and have borne the brunt of a 12 per cent rise in social care charges (with further increases forecast). Increasing social care costs were described as a “rising tax paid for by disabled people” 38.

38. There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that care charging is impacting unfairly on disabled people. Care charges are a reality for many disabled people, and not only are they impacting on their opportunities for equality of access but also there is a great deal of variation in how they are being applied across the country.

39. We are concerned not just about the impact of care charges on individual disabled people and the fairness of the levels they are levied at, but also about the geographical inequalities they are causing. We would ask CoSLA and the Scottish Government to respond on the charges and on their fairness, and seek assurance that a consistent approach to needs assessment is being taken.

40. Linked to care charging is the issue of geographical mobility for disabled people and their families across Scotland, and the potential this has to create economic and social disadvantage. Local authorities not only operate different charging policies, they also all employ different eligibility criteria for benefits and for access to care and support packages, and educational support. This means that many disabled people are not able to easily move from one location to the other, either for work or for social reasons.

41. We would appreciate an assurance that those issues are being, or will be, addressed by the Scottish Government, local authorities, and other public bodies, via relevant policy initiatives and associated spending allocations.

FUNDING FOR PERSONAL SUPPORT AND INDEPENDENT LIVING

Spending allocation for adults and children

42. The Draft Budget does not set out many specific funding streams for people with disabilities. With the exception of on-going funding for self-directed support (“SDS”) and the Independent Living Fund, there is little evidence of targeted spending. In particular, there is no mention of specifically targeted spending to support children with disabilities and their families.

43. Witnesses were concerned that with fewer targeted services and funding, and increased benefits cuts, disabled people may be forced into mainstream services which are not always appropriate for their needs. Bill Scott (Inclusion Scotland) explained—

“If all those people lose their benefit, they are going to go to their general practitioner for medical evidence to get it reinstated. That, in turn, diverts the GP’s time from healthcare into form filling and letter writing in support of the disabled people who have lost their benefit… As a result, the length of the consultation becomes important. For a learning disabled person or someone with a communication impairment, a 10 or 15-minute consultation might not be long enough for the GP or whoever is seeing them to identify the underlying problems—or, indeed, the problem itself. That is why many learning disabled people, who have no advocacy support in place and are unable to explain how their health is being affected, are not given the treatment that they need and therefore die earlier than they should.”39

Self-directed support

44. The Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act (2013) now requires local authorities to offer people four choices on how to access social care. The choices are—

a) direct payment;

b) the person directs the available support;

c) the local authority arranges the support; or

d) a mix of the above

45. We heard varying opinions on the effectiveness of self-directed support. Pam Duncan (ILiS) summed up the situation—

“Self-directed support delivers choice, control, freedom and dignity in a way that the disability movement has campaigned for for many years, but it does that only at the end point when you get the budget rather than at the point when you get your assessment or become eligible for support.”40

46. She explained that the assessment process could be gruelling—

“I consider myself to be a particularly resilient person, but I went through the personalisation process very recently and I can honestly say that it just about broke me. It was the most demoralising, inhumane and degrading experience that I have ever had.”41

47. She felt strongly that the assessment process was based on perceived need, rather than actually supporting the individual in living a full and independent lifestyle—

“I have sometimes been told, “Well, that is your perceived need. Your need is not unmet because we’re meeting what we think it is.” I pointed out that social workers are experiencing incredible difficulties, but I have also heard of situations in which they have said, “We know you need that but we can’t assess you for need in that respect because our eligibility criteria are based on life and limb.” When I said that I needed support to go to work, meet friends and participate in community and civic involvement and engagement activities, I was told, “We know you do but we don’t fund that.”42

48. Sophie Pilgrim (Kindred and for Scotland’s Disabled Children) defended SDS, explaining that she saw it as “the end of institutionalisation”43, and outlined how the flexibility could be beneficial to families with children who had high support needs. She did, however, say—

“… there needs to be greater protection for the families with the highest level of disability or medical need, because the current resources are not adequate.”44

49. She went on to explain the importance of support—

“If you have a package of care of about £30,000 and you are employing three or four people—as well as doing your full-time day job—you are basically having to manage a payroll to ensure that people are paid on time… With such a big care package, you really need support from somebody who can help you with employment issues.”45

50. Florence Garabedian (LCiL) felt that a strategic approach to support across local authorities was needed—

“In Glasgow and in the Lothians, the centres for inclusive living are able to give information—they do a good job. A lot of areas in Scotland do not have that information. When a person does not have the information, they do not have the options because they do not know about them. That is a huge setback… In our written evidence, we make the point that a national scheme to ensure that each local authority has an independent service, preferably run by disabled people, to provide information and support, would go a long way to making SDS successful.”46

51. She went on to say—

“… the national programme is a great approach from the Government, because it has enabled a number of organisations to get ready for SDS, to have our systems ready and to ensure that we can give the right information at the right time. It is key, and we see how much thinking and co-operation has gone into getting it ready and ensuring that it works… The funding has already dropped this year from last year, which means that fewer organisations will be able to do a good job in ensuring that SDS is a success, so again I urge the committee to highlight that.”47

52. Pam Duncan cited research by the University of Strathclyde, which found that the local authorities and voluntary sector organisations were at different stages in implementing the SDS agenda.48

53. Tressa Burke (Glasgow Disability Alliance) suggested that “many disabled people in Glasgow”49 felt that SDS was a “cost-cutting”50 exercise—

“I do not know how the money is allocated internally but, from the outside, it seems as if decisions are being made according to impairment groups, and there is a perception of risk with certain groups. For example, people who have learning difficulties are seen to be higher risk and therefore in more need of social participation, whereas for people who have physical impairments, it is much more about washing, dressing and feeding and the only money that is available is for basic needs.”51

54. She also spoke of the conflict between seeking support and actually using that support—

“Disabled people need role models, and to have their aspirations raised and capacity built if they are even to try to think about using self-directed support or becoming employable. The irony is that, once they think about it, they might not qualify for the package of funding, there might not be a job for them, or, in the case of many young disabled people, there might be a college place for them but they have no transport and there is a battle with the college about who has to pay for it, or they might be getting disability living allowance but it is being used in a different way.”52

55. The Scottish Trades Union Congress (“STUC”) raised concerns about the drop in funding for self-directed support, from £17 million in 2013-14 to £12 million in 2014-1553. They, along with other witnesses, were concerned that this would lead to inferior care given and poor conditions for workers54.

56. Etienne d’Aboville outlined the effects of reduced care packages—

“… we work with people whose package has been cut from 66 hours to 24 hours, which is a couple of days at a day centre. The impact of that is that people may lose all their social life and their opportunities for volunteering and so on. We also worked with someone whose long-standing health issues and impairment had not changed over many years, but the budget for that person, having been reviewed under the personalisation scheme, was cut by more than 22 per cent…

“The odd percentage point here and there in the budget is just not going to cut it at the moment.”55

57. Pam Duncan spoke of the increasingly poor employment conditions for her personal assistants (“PAs”)—

“My PAs’ pay and conditions are pretty awful—as a person who believes in good pay and conditions for the workforce, I am embarrassed to say that. For example, they get no sick pay apart from statutory sick pay; they used to, but I cannot pay for that now… There has been no rise in pay—my PAs have not had an increase in their salary in the seven or eight years that they have worked for me—which makes it very difficult to recruit and retain staff.”56

Scottish Government
58. When asked about the perceived drop in funding for SDS in the Draft Budget, the Cabinet Secretary clarified the position—

“That was always the planned roll-out of the expenditure. It was recognised that 2013-14 would be a peak year in the level of support that we put in place because of the introduction of the Social Care (Self-directed Support) (Scotland) Act 2013. The £12 million figure will be the baseline for the on-going period.”57

59. He confirmed that he was unaware of the issues highlighted about PA’s employment conditions, but stated that he would “certainly explore them”58.

Conclusion
60. SDS has been recognised as a means of ensuring that disabled people have control of the way that their care and support is delivered. Its development and roll-out have been broadly welcomed. However, there is some concern that this method of service delivery is placing undue pressure on disabled people. Its roll‑out in a time of austerity, spending cuts and efficiency savings has meant that, in some cases, it is perceived by some disabled people as being used as a way of achieving reductions in budgets.

61. We recommend that the Scottish Government carries out research looking at how the pressure of managing and controlling SDS packages is impacting on disabled people’s ability to be included in society.

62. We were told that care workers are now increasingly being placed on zero-hours contracts, that their entitlement to sick pay and holiday pay has been affected, and that they now face increased insecurity in employment. This is extremely worrying. As the majority of care workers are female, we are also concerned about the impact of SDS on gender equality.

63. We recommend that the Scottish Government explores further the impact SDS is having on care workers and their employment status.

Independent Living Fund

64. Many witnesses spoke, with regret, of the closing of the Independent Living Fund (“ILF”) to new applicants. In November 2013, the Court of Appeal upheld a legal challenge by five disabled people against the Government’s decision to close the ILF in March 2015, with the original High Court ruling that the closure of the ILF was not unlawful being quashed on the basis that that the Minister for Disabled People had breached equality duties when making the decision to close the fund in December 201259.

65. Florence Garabedian (LCiL) suggested that the Scottish Government could try to protect the current recipients of the ILF, but only if it got the right deal in negotiations with Westminster. She related some examples of the positive effects ILF could have on recipients—

“It allows me to have a life, not just be alive. My social life is a huge part of my mental wellbeing, and ILF allows me to make choices and not have to justify them to anyone… ILF also has a big impact on my relationships with my family. Because I’m able to be independent from them and I’m not saying ‘help me’, our relationships are much more adult, much more equal…

“Having the level of flexibility that 24 hour support gives me … is very important to me—it IS me—it goes a long way to shaping who I am—because I’m not stuck, I can do whatever I like”… I can decide what I want to eat and go shopping for food at short notice, rather than having to plan ... I can get up and go to bed at the times I choose, and I can get up to go to the toilet during the night, rather than having to sleep in a wet incontinence pad ... I don’t have to go to the toilet to a schedule, or be fed at a time I haven’t chosen ... Survival is fine, but can I not live too?”60

66. Etienne d’Aboville (GCIL) said—

“It would be fantastic if the Scottish Government could effectively fund a replacement version of the ILF that could provide that support… we would want that to be part of an entitlement-based system. Ideally, people would want the Scottish Government to be able to fund a full replacement for the ILF. Otherwise, we will return to a situation in which some people are getting access to the additional supports and some people are not, which is not fair.”61

67. Bill Scott added—

“We very much welcome the protection—hopefully—of those who are already fundholders, but something needs to be done for the younger disabled people who will lose out and who have already lost out.”62

68. Florence Garabedian suggested that—

“… if the fund is transferred, it should not go to local authorities at any cost; it should go to an independent organisation or structure of some kind, so that the funding stays with disabled people and is not lost in other big budgets.”63

69. East Ayrshire Council, in their submission, gave a local perspective—

“The value of ILF awards over the last ten years in East Ayrshire has been £964,000, an amount which could otherwise have been met by the local authority. This has facilitated increased numbers of people residing in their own homes and communities with packages of support, supplementing Council funding… The financial implications of the ILF allocation no longer coming to East Ayrshire, at the current level, will be additional demands on a Community Care Budget, at a time when there are already pressures to address Council budget reductions.”64

Scottish Government
70. The Cabinet Secretary confirmed that—

“… responsibility for the independent living fund will be devolved in 2015 and ministers here have made it clear that the £50 million that we expect to be devolved will continue to be applied to a Scottish independent living fund.”65

71. He felt, however, that any attempt to replicate the ILF for new applicants crossed into the Scottish Government’s “ability to mitigate the effects of welfare reform”66.

Conclusion
72. ILF is vital for many disabled people both in terms of meeting their care needs and enabling them to be active members of their communities. We welcome the Scottish Government’s commitment to try to keep this fund continuing after it is withdrawn, particularly in light of the recent Court of Appeal ruling. However current plans only seem to be targeted at meeting the needs of those who currently receive ILF and there do not seem to be any policies in place to meet the needs of those who have become eligible subsequent to the closure of the scheme.

73. We urge the Scottish Government to look into this matter with the utmost urgency, and to indicate how it will assess the needs of and support those who have become eligible following the closure of the ILF scheme.

74. In summary, on issues of funding for care and support, we ask that the Scottish Government, CoSLA and private providers of social care form an independently chaired review group, involving stakeholders, to address the long-term problems of care and support, and report back on progress. (There are a number of related but more specific issues on care and support discussed in this report, all of which could be considered by such a group).

Welfare reform

Background
75. The Scottish Government has included an element in the budget which aims to mitigate of the effects of welfare reform. This has been set at £12.2 million in 2013-14 and £45.2 million in 2014-15. The main elements include funding for the new Scottish Welfare Fund at £33 million and advice agencies at £5.4 million. The Scottish Government and CoSLA have also committed £23 million and £17 million respectively to mitigate the 10 per cent reduction in the Council Tax budget transferred from the UK Government. The Scottish Government has also announced an additional £20 million in 2013-14 and 2014-15 to mitigate the impact of the "under-occupancy penalty" (“Bedroom Tax”). Witnesses have suggested that whilst this is welcome67, it will not be sufficient as the Scottish budget cannot stretch to cover the deficit, and the Scottish Government has no powers to replace or amend benefits where eligibility has been reduced or stricter conditions implemented.68

The correct focus?
76. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (“EHRC”) commented on the emphasis on welfare reform throughout the Draft Budget, but expressed concerns that this might distract from policy areas such as social care, education and health, over which Scotland has full control69.

77. In its submission, Inclusion Scotland welcomed the additional resources that had been made available by the Scottish Government for welfare reform mitigation, but expressed concerns that the Scottish Welfare Fund was currently significantly underspent.70 In oral evidence, Bill Scott also expressed concerns that the discretionary housing fund was underfunded—

“I would like to see £50 million going into supporting local authorities to ensure that no one is evicted. Nevertheless, I appreciate the £20 million that is being provided, because it will mean that far fewer people face that situation.

“At the moment, a number of local authorities, including the two largest ones in Scotland—City of Edinburgh Council and Glasgow City Council—take the disability living allowance care component into account in deciding whether to award discretionary housing payments. That means that disabled people will be put at a disadvantage in the receipt of discretionary housing payments compared with non-disabled people.

“I therefore hope that it is part of the conditions of the extra support that is going to local authorities that they must no longer take disability living allowance into account; otherwise, a lot of disabled people who need support will be denied it.”71

78. The submission also suggested that there was a need for specialist welfare advice and advocacy services to assist disabled people in challenging benefit decisions that were discriminatory and in breach of their human rights.

79. Pam Duncan (ILiS) argued for other approaches to mitigating the impact of welfare reform—

“If people are able to get to work, that is one way of mitigating some of the impacts of these extreme and brutal reforms.

“I feel as though I am saying this a lot—forgive me—but another thing that could be done is to increase the level of funding in people’s pockets not only through employability and transport but by reducing or abolishing the community care charge.”72

Scottish Government
80. On welfare reform, the Cabinet Secretary said—

“I have been clear with Parliament that it will not be possible for the Scottish Government to ameliorate and make good all the impacts of welfare reform on individuals. That would simply be a financial impossibility.”73

81. He explained that measures introduced by the Scottish Government were—

“… anchored mainly in expansion of services to people who require advice and support; introduction of the council tax reduction scheme, which has protected people against council tax benefit cuts; establishment of the Scottish welfare fund, which has been a major part of the propositions that we have put in place; and the steps that we have taken to mitigate the effect of the bedroom tax, in respect of which we have to operate within our legislative competence.”74

82. When asked about the possibility that the disability living allowance may be taken into account by local authorities when awarding discretionary housing payments, he said—

“I am not sure that I am sufficiently familiar with the issue that you raise … which I think relates to the decision-making approach of some local authorities in relation to the interaction between discretionary housing payments and DLA. I am not sure that I am sufficiently sighted on the issue in that regard. There will be a basis on which discretionary housing payments can be made available, but I will have to check what our guidance says about how they interact with DLA and come back to the committee on that.”75

83. He explained, when asked whether the Scottish Government could set up a hardship fund to help individuals affected, that—

“… if we try to ameliorate the effect of the bedroom tax in any way other than by using discretionary housing payments we will be in breach of the law.”76

84. When talking about the Scottish Government’s general approach to supporting disabled people, he said that, some of the Scottish Government’s person-centred work “might be knocked off course by the generalities of welfare reform”.77

Conclusion
85. The recent economic downturn, spending cuts and other financial constraints are significantly impacting on disabled people. They, perhaps more than any other group, are the most affected by these changes. Whilst the proposals to try and mitigate some of the effects of the UK Government’s changes to benefit entitlement, introduced in part through the Welfare Reform Act (2012), are welcome, there are still many areas of concern. Disabled people are faring particularly badly in this process. Not only are they less likely to find work when economic conditions are harsh, as evidenced by their falling employment participation rate, changes in eligibility criteria for both DWP benefits and local authority support packages are greatly reducing their income. These cuts are further exacerbated by efficiency savings and cutbacks in service delivery implemented by third-sector organisations and other service providers as they seek to respond to changes in their own funding packages.

86. We recognise that, given the tremendous financial scale of the changes, and the area being outwith its direct control, it is not practical for the Scottish Government to mitigate all aspects of welfare reform. However, we would like to see serious consideration of what additional measures can be taken, where it is reasonable, to minimise the multiple impacts on disabled people. This should be evidenced, wherever possible, through spending plans and associated policies. We also ask the Cabinet Secretary to respond on the concerns raised around discretionary housing payments and the disability living allowance.

Access to education, training and employment

87. Witnesses felt that improved access to education and employment would help to both support and empower disabled people. Bill Scott (Inclusion Scotland) explained—

“A lot of funds could be accessed through access to work support, which is underutilised and underspent in Scotland. There are fewer Scottish disabled people on access to work support from the Department for Work and Pensions than there should be. I know that the access to work service is working with disabled people’s organisations to improve awareness that that support exists, but more work should also be done with employers… The problem could be overcome with relatively modest expenditure, most of which would be provided by the DWP.”78

88. Etienne d’Aboville (GCIL) advocated the introduction of a positive action programme, though noted that it may have budgetary implications. He said—

“So far, the approach has mainly been about trying to raise awareness of the need to recruit disabled people through encouragement, the provision of information and case studies, and so on. That is fine as far as it goes, but it would be possible to use the contracting relationship to be a bit more direct than that and to require organisations and companies to take on a proportion of disabled people. Training and development programmes could be offered to employers as part of that process, which they would take up as part of the contractual requirements.”79

89. Pam Duncan (ILiS), whilst suggesting a Government-funded campaign to increase awareness of disabilities, explained that attitudes towards disabled people in society were a cause of great concern, particularly in relation to employment and independent living—

“… if disabled people are not seen as much in the community as they should be, how can we expect employers’ attitudes to change? We need to think about disabled people’s visibility and their participation generally.”80

90. Inclusion Scotland noted in its submission that the Scottish Government’s own data for Attainment and Leavers Destinations for 2011-12 confirmed the long‑term trend that school leavers with additional support needs were twice as likely to be unemployed (17.2 per cent) as those with no additional support needs (8.9 per cent), and only 15 per cent were in Higher Education, compared with 40 per cent with no additional support needs.81

Scottish Government
91. The Cabinet Secretary expressed concerns about the drop in employment rates for people with disabilities, and emphasised a desire to use a person-centred approach82. On employers’ responsibilities he said—

“Employers, including those in the public sector, have a significant role to play in the exercise into the bargain; it is a particular issue that all employers have to take to heart… there is a message that has to be advanced about wider questions of employability for people with disabilities...

“I think that we do not make it easy for employers to participate in many of our employment schemes, because there is so much information and there are so many options and choices… the kind of remark that is always of concern to me [is]—“I’m running my business and I’m busy, so I don’t have time to keep up with everything that you lot are getting up to.” It is a pretty fair point.”83

92. He also highlighted the importance of social enterprises—

“If I look at the growing number of active social enterprises in Scotland, I see that more and more of those organisations are coming together to provide a sustainable remunerative employment opportunity for people with disabilities—that is a welcome process around the country.”84

93. The Cabinet Secretary was also asked what could be done to ensure good working conditions for employees of private-sector companies providing services to recipients of SDS—

“The Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill, which the Government has introduced, is the mechanism by which we are determined to tackle such issues and to put in place as much good employment practice as we can. Employment regulation is a reserved matter, but we can try to apply aspects of the procurement regime—conditions and constraints—that fulfil some of the aspirations [raised].”85

Conclusion
94. We note the Cabinet Secretary’s acknowledgement of the poor and worsening employment prospects for many disabled people, and we welcome his openness and frankness. We recognise that various aspects of employment policy are outwith the control of the Scottish Government. However, we invite the Scottish Government to comment on what changes it can and will make to its economic and employment promotion policies to try and help rectify this inequality. In particular, we would like to know how spending plans promote the position of disabled people in the labour market, and whether the Scottish Government would consider the use of positive media campaigns to change views and improve awareness and knowledge amongst public and private employers .

Modern apprenticeships
95. Many witnesses, including the STUC, were concerned that modern apprenticeships were a missed opportunity for young disabled people. Inclusion Scotland cited a report, published on 31 July 2013 by the EHRC which showed that, of the 26,000 modern apprenticeships in Scotland, only 74 were taken by a person with a declared disability. This is less than 0.5 per cent of the available places, despite 8 per cent of 16-24 year olds in Scotland being disabled. Bill Scott argued—

“… disabled people’s needs require to be addressed within the mainstream schemes that already exist. For example, modern apprenticeships have signally failed young disabled people, with only 4.5 per cent of available places going to young disabled people. To be honest, that is a disgrace. It is also a systematic failure, because there were no targets for equalities groups in the scheme.”86

Scottish Government
96. When the concerns noted above were put to the Cabinet Secretary, he clarified—

“… Skills Development Scotland is actively exploring how we can make participation in the modern apprenticeship programme by people with disabilities more practical and more tangible, recognising the point that I have just made.”87

“The programme’s great strength is its link to employment and the necessity of all participants to be employed.”88

97. On whether funding for the Modern Apprenticeship Programme could be better utilised in another way he asserted that he would not be supportive of “diverting modern apprenticeship resource activity” as there was “still a clear and discernible requirement”89 for significant modern apprenticeship capability within the economy.90

98. The Cabinet Secretary was asked whether disabled people may be using routes other than the Modern Apprenticeship Programme to access employment. He replied—

“I will certainly explore … what more we can detect about the different routes that individuals take to becoming active. There might be approaches other than signing up for a modern apprenticeship—in fact, there are, because people can participate in college courses and third sector activity, and there will be mainstream employment. There is therefore a range of options, but I do not think that we have sufficient detail to address the issues”.91

Conclusion
99. There are many well documented problems associated with the Modern Apprenticeships Programme in terms of equality. Last year, during our budget scrutiny, we highlighted the failure of this programme to tackle gender inequality and occupational segregation, as well as the disproportionate representation of ethnic minorities 92 . This year many of the witnesses pointed to the programme’s failure to recruit disabled people. A report by the EHRC also expressed concern about its inclusivity with regard to ethnicity 93 .

100. The Cabinet Secretary acknowledged that there are issues with equality within the Modern Apprenticeship Programme, and agreed to explore these problems. This is a publicly funded programme and as such should meet the highest standards in equality. We recommend that the Scottish Government investigates further why the Modern Apprenticeship Programme performs poorly for disabled people and other protected groups, and puts in place future spending plans that will promote equality of outcomes in respect to the promotion of, the recruitment to, and the performance of Modern Apprenticeships . Given that this is the third year in which concerns over the Modern Apprenticeships Programme have been raised during our budget scrutiny, we ask that the Scottish Government report back to us on progress against this recommendation.

101. Whilst the budget is clear in its commitment to the promotion of equality, we ask the Scottish Government to identify specific funding streams aimed at tackling the inequality experienced by disabled people in accessing training and employment, and policies aimed at mitigating their exclusion from the mainstream.

ACCESS TO SERVICES

102. We understand that accessing mainstream services poses additional challenges to disabled people, so asked witnesses to comment. Previous sections of this report highlight the effect that support levels can have in individuals’ ability to participate in society and live independently. We also heard how living in a rural area, or having insufficient access to transport, can compound these issues.

Rural areas

103. Shetland Island Council and Orkney Island Council both spoke of the additional challenges of providing accessible services and information in rural areas. Shetland Island Council explained—

“For a rural authority it’s not always possible or cost effective to buy in services from the mainland. We would like to develop skills in producing materials locally but this comes at a cost to the voluntary organisation but could lead to income generation in the long term.”94

104. In relation to self-directed support and how it might be used in rural and remote areas, Orkney Islands Council said—

“The concept of an overall cost neutral piece of legislation does not translate into reality for Orkney where we do not have economies of scale to support implementation. This is further compounded by the very limited private and third sector provision which exists in Orkney.”95

105. This echoed concerns raised at the STUC/Scottish Government Women’s Employment summit in September 201296. Women in care roles spoke of inadequate travelling time allowances between clients, and suggested that better cross referencing with community transport budgets could give carers and service providers easier access to the locations or families they are supporting.97

Scottish Government
106. The Cabinet Secretary suggested a focus on collaborative working, community support and connectivity was the means by which disabled people in rural areas could be better supported—

“In some isolated parts of the country, people may be doing three or four different jobs to make a living, and we must ensure that there is cohesion around the delivery of services and opportunities in such localities. That is very much the ethos that is at the heart of our approach to public service reform.”98

107. He continued—

“Ensuring effective connectivity is vital for hard-to-reach areas. That is at the heart of the Government’s broadband expenditure.”99

Conclusion
108. There is evidence to suggest that disabled people in rural communities experience even greater inequality in accessing health and social care than their peers in more urban environments.

109. We ask the Scottish Government and other public bodies to consider how this situation can be improved and to report back with an action plan.

Transport

110. Access to transport was seen as a main barrier to disabled people in enjoying both a working and a social life. Aberdeenshire Council explained that the concessionary fares and bus services budget would see a real terms drop of £5.9 million100. The STUC said—

“… significant improvements are required in relation to accessibility of public transport. Subsidised public transport is a lifeline for disabled people”.101

111. Orkney Islands Council described its local ‘Dial-a-Bus’ services—

“The service is supported financially by the Council and operates using fully accessible vehicles which therefore provide life-line services to those who cannot easily travel on the mainland of Orkney. Without this financial support transport would not be available to these vulnerable groups in order to attend events and services which improve their quality of life…

“The Council also provides local concessionary travel for eligible elderly and disabled outer island residents to reach the mainland of Orkney to access services. Eligible residents receive 12 return free trips per year for use on the Council’s own internal ferry service.”102

112. Pam Duncan (ILiS) said—

“… we would very much like the concessionary pass to be usable on community transport. In some cases, public transport is not suitable for disabled people. If I am with my partner, we cannot travel on the same bus, because we are both in wheelchairs.”103

Scottish Government
113. The Cabinet Secretary acknowledged the additional challenges that living in a rural area could bring to life with a disability, and said, with reference to rural areas—

“A range of third sector community transport ventures is emerging; they are flexible and are deployed to meet the needs of communities in isolated areas. The Government is keen to do what it can to support such organisations as best we can.”104

Conclusion
114. It is clear that improved access to transport services would have a dramatic effect on disabled people’s ability to live and work independently. Although we appreciate the Scottish Government’s support of third-sector transport initiatives in rural areas, we do not feel this necessarily tackles the issue across the country.

115. We ask the Scottish Government to provide an update on its consideration of the potential use of the National Entitlement Card for concessionary travel.

Climate change

116. The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee asked that all committees include climate change in scrutiny of the Draft Budget105. Witnesses did not raise particular concerns, however research has shown that disabled people may experience greater challenges with relation to climate change than the general population.

117. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation studied UK and devolved climate change adaption approaches in the context of social justice and vulnerability. In a report in 2011, it concluded—

“Adaptation policy has focused on personal factors (such as health and age) and environmental features (such as flood prevention) but also needs to address social factors (such as income inequalities, the existence of social networks and the social characteristics of neighbourhoods).”106

118. The research identified Glasgow as the area in Scotland most vulnerable to flooding and heat stress, largely a result of high levels of deprivation which impact on the ability of individuals and communities to prepare, respond and recover.

Scottish Government
119. The Cabinet Secretary spoke of potential emergency situations which might affect disabled people—

“I have been involved in substantial work on ensuring that, in severe weather conditions, individuals who require heating support receive it. In instances of severe weather and during power cuts, local authority workers have been going round with oil-based heating implements to houses where there are people with disabilities and vulnerabilities. I want to assure the committee that, in an emergency situation, one of the priorities of the resilience operation is to ensure that anyone with vulnerabilities is properly supported and assisted.”107

Conclusion
120. Although we commend the Scottish Government’s approach to planning for supporting vulnerable people in severe weather conditions, we note that little is known about how climate change will impact on disabled people, and we are concerned at the lack of any robust data in this area.

121. We ask the Scottish Government to consider what can reasonably be done to improve the information available in this area.

CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES

Children’s rights

122. We understand that children with disabilities may be in receipt of specific funding streams, and that they and their families may face additional challenges to those experienced by adults with disabilities. When we asked witnesses to comment, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, Tam Baillie, highlighted that there was “not a lot of specific comment”108 in the budget about children, and that it was “particularly light on children with disabilities”109.

123. He stated—

“…the Government’s equality statement says that in future years it will look at what it calls a children’s rights checklist, but I think that it has to go way beyond that. Anyone who has heard me speaking about the Children and Young People (Scotland) Bill will know that we have made repeated calls for child rights impact assessments, and that is the level of scrutiny that I think should be given to the budgeting process in particular, for all the reasons that people have given about the impact on people’s rights.”110

124. Speaking of the Commission’s own research, he said—

“We did not find a lot of evidence about reductions in budget allocation at a local level, but we did find increased demand and that budgets were expected to go further.

“The conclusion, in our eyes, was that local authority services were not really being impacted but that individual families were bearing the brunt of what was occurring.

“Parents have reported reductions in, and longer waiting lists for, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy services. Even when services, particularly in speech and language therapy, are provided, children have found their previous two hours a week becoming two per fortnight. Services are still being provided in theory, but they are stretched and are not having the same impact on or benefit for the child. In short, parents and children themselves are reporting reductions not only in social care but in some healthcare services for children.”111

125. Orkney Islands Council gave a rural perspective—

“… pressure within Children’s Services continues to grow, particularly within the school-based environment and essential respite care provision. Limited funding is provided for these services. In addition, the not insignificant costs of Orkney having to place children outwith Orkney at specialist schools through a lack of appropriate local provision is a huge and growing cost which disproportionately penalises rural and island communities.”112

Scottish Government
126. When asked to comment on concerns that mainstream services were not delivering for disabled children, the Cabinet Secretary said—

“In essence, the Government’s approach is anchored in the getting it right for every child agenda… the work that is being taken forward under GIRFEC is one of the areas in which we are probably making fastest progress in developing public services”.113

127. He confirmed the main funding streams in place—

“Some support will come through the change fund that the Government has put in place, which will continue during 2014-15. Some of it will come through local authority and health service budgets, and some of it will come through the work of third sector organisations.

“Specific measures are being introduced under the budget lines on children’s rights, getting it right for every child, early learning and childcare, and the support that we put in place for looked-after children. There is also the financial support that we put in place for the support that some of our strategic partners provide to assist young people, and there is the family fund trust, which is available to support disabled children.”114

Conclusion
128. We invite the Scottish Government to comment on the evidence that, although budgets may not have been directly cut, local services are facing increased expectations and demand leading to more pressure being placed on the families of disabled children. Specifically, we would welcome a response on the Children’s Commissioner’s suggestion that child’s rights impact assessments be introduced.

129. We welcome the Cabinet Secretary’s remarks regarding the specific measures to aid disabled children, and the way in which GIRFEC supports this. We would like the Scottish Government to further expand on these remarks to aid our understanding of the practical ways in which these mainstream services are delivering for disabled children.

Transition into adulthood

130. Many witnesses explained the huge challenges of transitioning from childhood to adulthood, and the varying levels of care available. Tam Baillie, commenting on written evidence from LEAD Scotland showing a reduction in places in higher education for young people with additional needs, said—

“I understand the rationale behind wanting to build as much flexibility as possible into funding at the local level. However, if the evidence is that policies are not benefiting specific groups—for instance, young people with disabilities—there must be remedial action to correct the laissez-faire, flexible approach because the funding is not reaching the parts that it needs to reach...

“The trick is to find the method of exerting influence that will get the outcome that we are looking for. It might be about targets, it might be about expectations about the courses that our colleges and universities provide, it might be about culture change.”115

131. Florence Garabedian (LCiL) explained—

“When young people reach the transition period, the services either have to be paid for or are no longer accessible, which shakes their confidence.”116

132. Bill Scott (Inclusion Scotland) added—

“No one wants to be dependent on the state, and young disabled people want to be able to go out and have the same life experiences as their non-disabled peers have; many, many young disabled people want to work.”117

133. Margaret Follon, Access Centre Head at West Lothian College, suggested in her written submission—

“In the same way that individuals are now to be given the opportunity for direct payment for their health care packages it should be possible for learners to have the funding follow them, have them choose (with help ) the path that is most appropriate for them.”118

Conclusion
134. The issue of transition to adulthood for disabled young people is an area of major concern for many people and one that is significantly impacting on opportunities for disabled people.

135. We would like the Scottish Government to assess the current support schemes available for disabled young people to establish whether they are effectively meeting their needs. We would also like the Scottish Government to consider any additional measures which could be taken to help disabled young people make a smoother transition to adult services. We note that gaining access to training and employment is a crucial part of the transition from childhood to adulthood, and refer the Scottish Government to take this point into consideration alongside our recommendations on modern apprenticeships and employment.

Support for parents

136. Essential in supporting children with disabilities is support for their parents and families. Engender, in its submission, said—

“Funding relating to children has a significant impact on the caring responsibilities of mothers and unpaid carers. In particular, many lone mothers are amongst the very hardest hit by cuts to public spending. Women and children’s poverty may be further exacerbated, and their wellbeing endangered, by spending decisions in this area.”

137. Sophie Pilgrim (Kindred and for Scotland’s Disabled Children) spoke of the pressure on families caring for a profoundly disabled child—

“Quite often, those families are nursing a child 24 hours a day. Such a role cannot be taken on by staff who do not have nursing qualifications. If those who have to meet that level of demand of care in their lives are at the same time having to negotiate the system of statutory services such as health, social work and education and the benefits system, they will simply not have the time or energy to get into disagreements with those services.

“Parents are being put through a huge amount of assessment, but at the end of the process there is little objectivity in the decisions that are made about their care packages.”119

Scottish Government
138. On support for parents, the Cabinet Secretary explained—

“In 2014-15, the Government will move to the commitment of 600 hours of childcare for three and four-year-olds and looked-after two-year-olds, but care packages will be in place to provide greater support than that commitment. A disabled three-year-old may well be eligible for a care package that provides more childcare than the 600 hours commitment that the Government will fulfil during 2014-15, in partnership with local Government. There will be other arrangements that will be able to meet those needs.”120

Conclusion
139. Support for parents, and in particular mothers, has been identified as a key strategic aim of the Budget as a way of reconnecting mothers with the employment market. However, there is little or no mention of support for parents of disabled children in this respect. In particular there is no discussion of the need to develop and fund special needs nursery provision or short breaks.

140. We ask for investment in child care services for disabled children to be given more emphasis within a framework of promoting economic growth.

EQUALITIES WITHIN OTHER COMMITTEES' SCRUTINY OF THE DRAFT BUDGET

141. A summary of committee responses on their findings relating to equalities is detailed below; their full reports to the Finance Committee are published on the Parliament’s website in the usual manner.

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee

142. The Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee (“EETC”) highlighted particular issues within the body of its report121 in relation to the National Planning Framework (“NPF”), Modern Apprenticeship Programme, women in business and access to business growth funding opportunities for black and minority ethnic communities. It also asked the Cabinet Secretary about whether the Draft Budget itself is equality impact assessed.

143. The EETC recommended that the Scottish Government set out how the goal of increasing both the total number of business start-ups, and the proportion of these by both women and ethnic minority groups, could be better reflected in the NPF.

144. The EETC found, echoing our own scrutiny, that women, disabled people, and ethnic minorities were underrepresented in the Modern Apprenticeships Programme. It invited Skills Development Scotland to provide an update at the midway point in 2014-15 on what improvements had been brought about with regards participation by black and minority ethnic groups, disabled people and gender alignment in the programme. It also recommended that the Scottish Government outlined which specific policies it would put in place to address the gender, ethnicity and disability imbalance in the Modern Apprenticeship Programme.

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee

145. The Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee’s (“ELLCC”) scrutiny of the Draft Budget122 had a focus on youth employment and employability. Concerned about the rate of youth unemployment (20 per cent), the ELLCC asked the Scottish Government to provide better evidence on outcomes, in line with the ethos of the National Performance Framework.

146. The ELLCC also heard of the impact of the Scottish Government’s emphasis on young learners on older, disadvantaged and female learners. It invited Colleges Scotland to provide evidence to the Scottish Government on its expressed view that lifelong learning has been detrimentally affected as a result of Scottish Government spending decisions.

147. During scrutiny, the ELLCC asked the Cabinet Secretary whether the Scottish Government had undertaken a full equality impact assessment of the move to prioritise young people at college. As it did not receive a definitive answer, the ELLCC sought evidence that would demonstrate how any possible negative impacts identified in EQIAs were acted upon.

European and External Relations Committee

148. The European and External Relations Committee123 did not have anything specific to report as regards mainstreaming equalities within the Draft Budget, however it did note the Scottish Government’s continued commitment to providing immigration advice, and recognised the valuable contribution that immigrants, such as foreign students, make to Scottish society and the Scottish economy.

Health and Sport Committee

149. In its report124, the Health and Sport Committee included specific consideration of the impact of budget decisions on equality groups, with concerns arising in relation to human rights, free prescriptions, and supporting people with long-term conditions. It also looked specifically at the Equality Statement, which it hoped would go some way to ensure that, in future years, equality issues would be considered as an integral aspect of the annual budgetary process.

Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee

150. The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee (“ICIC”) reported125 with a focus on housing need and welfare reform. It heard concerns that the indicator on options for those in housing need was overly narrow around homelessness. The ICIC welcomed the Cabinet Secretary’s agreement to refresh this indicator, and recommended that a new housing needs indicator be developed for Scotland Performs.

151. The ICIC heard evidence on the impact of housing policy to mitigate the detrimental effects of the UK Government’s proposals for welfare reform. Most witnesses sought to move discussion away from just the effects of the ‘under-occupation penalty’ or ‘bedroom tax’ and onto a wider range of issues where housing investment and policy might help those worst affected. Echoing our own evidence, the ICIC heard that the Scottish Government had made up to £20 million available for mitigation of the under-occupancy penalty. The ICIC felt that the Scottish Government’s intention to mitigate certain aspects of the impact of welfare reform was something that would best be picked up in the Solidarity Purpose Target.

Justice Committee

152. The Justice Committee covered three main equalities issues within its report126 – workforce balance in the new police service, domestic abuse, and women offenders.

153. On the new police force, the Justice Committee found that there was broad agreement amongst witnesses of a need to establish the appropriate workforce balance for the new police service. The Justice Committee recommended that, in the interests of best value, the efficiency of the police service, and police staff, a review be carried out as early as practicably possible.

154. The Justice Committee was interested to note the commitment made by Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (“COPFS”) in the Equality Statement accompanying the Draft Budget 2014-15 to implement a revised protocol on handling domestic abuse cases and therefore agreed to examine this matter further. It recognised that COPFS’ efforts may have led to an increase in the reporting and prosecution of domestic abuse cases, but noted a backlog of cases in the Glasgow Domestic Abuse Court and asked that Police Scotland, the Scottish Court Service and COPFS gave consideration to this matter as part of their work on extending court hours.

155. The Justice Committee, since the publication of unfavourable inspection reports of HMP & YOI Cornton Vale (“Cornton Vale”) by HM Inspector of Prisons for Scotland in 2009 and 2011, has monitored developments in relation to the conditions and treatment of women offenders. It stated that the Commission on Women Offenders’ recommendations127, published in April 2012, brought real impetus to improving the outcomes for women in the criminal justice, and that it found progress on implementing these recommendations encouraging. The Justice Committee did, however, express concerns that budgetary pressures may have caused some slippage on one of these recommendations, specifically the project to build a new national prison for women offenders at HMP Inverclyde, and urged the Scottish Government and Scottish Prison Service to make every effort to ensure that there was no further slippage in the project.

Local Government and Regeneration Committee

156. The Local Government and Regeneration Committee (“LGRC”), in its report128, highlighted concerns about discretionary services being offered by local authorities, and the effect that this could have on vulnerable groups such as children living in poverty.

157. The LGRC was concerned by the on-going cost implications arising from single status and equal pay rulings, and the provisions that some councils were having to make in response. It stated that CoSLA should provide an up to date monitoring report on the position of single status and equal pay costs for all 32 local authorities, setting out the amount each has set aside to deal with this issue.

158. The LGRC heard concerns echoing those we heard on the varying charges for services across different local authorities. It felt that this, along with other evidence heard on charging, highlighted the need for the political leadership of CoSLA to engage fully with that Committee on local government financing.

Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee

159. In its report129, The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee (“RACCEC”) looked specifically at how rural spending may affect protected groups. It was keen to establish how the specific challenges faced by equalities groups in remote and rural parts of Scotland were taken into account by the Scottish Government. The Minister for Environment and Climate Change (“the Minister”) confirmed that equalities issues were largely driven by the relevant minister, but stated that he felt that he could perhaps do more in this area in future. The RACCEC asked that the Cabinet Secretary and the Minister do all that they could to ensure that equalities issues in rural parts of Scotland were fully understood and represented in all relevant portfolio discussions across the Scottish Government.

160. The RACCEC also took evidence on the Climate Challenge Fund (“CCF”), and it welcomed the £10.3 million per annum of funding outlined in the Draft Budget over the following two years for the Fund. The RACCEC noted the Minister’s comments that the Scottish Government could do better in engaging with black and ethnic minority communities regarding the CCF, and it recommended that the Minister ensure that efforts were stepped up in that regard.

161. The RACCE welcomed the Equality Statement, and expressed that the rural affairs and environment section was an improvement on the previous year’s statement. The RACCEC asked the Scottish Government to update it on how the rural equalities review mentioned in the Equality Statement had been funded and how it would influence future spending decisions.

Welfare Reform Committee

162. The Welfare Reform Committee (“WRC”), in its scrutiny of the Draft Budget130, covered in-depth many of the themes identified in our own scrutiny, as well as additional themes including the Scottish Welfare Fund (“SWF”) and Council Tax Reduction (“CTR”) scheme. It welcomed the introduction of both of the schemes and the actions being taken to protect the vulnerable, but reported that the level of detail available for the operation of various mitigation measures did not make it possible to identify outcomes for different groups specifically.

163. The WRC noted that the SWF and CTR had been in place only since April 2013, and that though there was already valuable information available on operations, including numbers, amounts and proportions, the returns did not classify recipients according to age, gender, disability or other personal characteristics. It stated that the process of mitigating welfare reform, and cuts in particular, offered benefits to those who were poorest, most vulnerable and most disadvantaged. The extension of advice services offered a sub-structure to a wide range of people, primarily those on low incomes. It said that the replacement of the system with the SWF offered a level of protection not always available in English local authorities.

164. The WRC concluded that by putting an effective safety net in place, the Scottish Government and local authorities working in collaboration had avoided some of the evident harm that was being experienced in other parts of the UK.

Conclusion on other Committees’ scrutiny of the Draft Budget 2014-15

165. We note that whilst, in terms of equalities issues, there has not been a common theme across other committees’ scrutiny of the Draft Budget, a wide range of areas have been covered, including—

  • youth employability;
  • older, disadvantaged and female learners;
  • business start-ups;
  • supporting immigrants;
  • housing need;
  • domestic abuse;
  • women offenders;
  • discretionary payments;
  • equal pay; and,
  • the Climate Challenge Fund

166. We also note that many of the committees heard evidence overlapping our own—

  • Both the ELLCC and Economy Committee took evidence on the Modern Apprenticeships Programme. Whilst it comes as no surprise to see that the Economy Committee heard similar concerns on the representation of minority ethnic groups, disabled people and women in the programme, we note that the ELLCC did not report on such issues.
  • The Justice Committee heard of concerns relating to gender balance within the new police service, which very much echoes the findings contained within our Women and Work131 report.
  • The Welfare Reform Committee were able to cover issues surrounding welfare reform mitigation and Community Care Grants in far more detail than our scrutiny allowed, and we note the value of the additional perspective a specific report on the subject offers. We note that the evidence that ICI heard on welfare reform was very much in line with what we heard.
  • Likewise, the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee were able to offer a wider perspective on the additional challenges of supporting protected groups within rural areas, and where responsibility lies.
  • The Local Government and Regeneration Committee heard very similar concerns to those our witnesses raised on the issue of local authorities charging for services, as well as additional concerns relating to the council tax freeze.

167. The Modern Apprenticeships Programme has provided many people with valuable opportunities, however equalities have been a cause for concern in not only our own work, but in that of other committees. It is clear that this is an area for further work.

168. It is encouraging to see that the mainstreaming of equalities issues within the process of Draft Budget scrutiny has led to consideration of such a wide range of issues, and we lend our support to the recommendations made. We thank the other committees for their work on these issues, and draw their findings to the attention of the Finance Committee.


ANNEXE A: EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMITTEE

14th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Thursday 2 May 2013

Draft Budget 2014-15 Scrutiny: The Committee considered a letter from the Finance Committee on budget strategy scrutiny and agreed to respond raising points relating to the importance of the Equality Statement.

20th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Thursday 20 June 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15 (in private): The Committee agreed a ranked list of candidates for the appointment of adviser on scrutiny of the draft budget 2014-15.

21st Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Thursday 5 September 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15: The Committee considered its approach to the scrutiny of the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15. The Committee agreed to (a) take oral evidence, in relation to the broader theme of disability, on funding and access to services and (b) seek written evidence on these two themes, as well as on issues relating to children with disabilities.

26th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Thursday 10 October 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15: The Committee took evidence on the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15 from—

Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People;
Tressa Burke, Chief Executive, Glasgow Disability Alliance;
Etienne d'Aboville, Chief Executive, Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living;
Pam Duncan, Policy Officer, Independent Living in Scotland;
Florence Garabedian, Chief Executive, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living;
Bill Scott, Manager, Inclusion Scotland;
Sophie Pilgrim, Director of Kindred and member of fSDC, for Scotland's Disabled Children.

27th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Thursday 31 October 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15: The Committee took evidence on the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15 from—

John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, Yvonne Strachan, Head of Equality Unit, and Paul Tyrer, Senior Principal Research Officer, Scottish Government.


29th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Thursday 14 November 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15 (in private): The Committee considered a draft report to the Finance Committee on the Scottish Government's Draft Budget 2014-15. Various changes were agreed to, and the Committee agreed to consider a revised draft, in private, at its next meeting.

30th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Thursday 21 November 2013

Draft Budget Scrutiny 2014-15 (in private): The Committee considered a revised draft report. Various changes were agreed to, and the report was agreed for publication.


ANNEXE B: EVIDENCE – EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMITTEE

Written evidence received in advance of oral evidence

Aberdeenshire Council
Argyll and Bute Council
East Ayrshire Council
Equality and Human Rights Commission
Engender
Families Outside
for Scotland's Disabled Children
Margaret Follon, West Lothian College
Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland
Inclusion Scotland
Independent Living in Scotland
Lead Scotland
Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living
Orkney Islands Council
Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance
Scottish Women's Convention
Shetland Island Council
STUC
West Dunbartonshire Council

Oral evidence

26th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Thursday 10 October 2013

Tam Baillie, Scotland's Commissioner for Children and Young People;
Tressa Burke, Chief Executive, Glasgow Disability Alliance;
Etienne d'Aboville, Chief Executive, Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living;
Pam Duncan, Policy Officer, Independent Living in Scotland;
Florence Garabedian, Chief Executive, Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living;
Bill Scott, Manager, Inclusion Scotland;
Sophie Pilgrim, Director of Kindred and member of fSDC, for Scotland's Disabled Children.

27th Meeting, 2013 (Session 4) Thursday 31 October 2013

John Swinney, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, Yvonne Strachan, Head of Equality Unit, and Paul Tyrer, Senior Principal Research Officer, Scottish Government

OTHER WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Michael McMahon MSP, Convener to the Welfare Reform Committee
Rob Gibson MSP, Convener to the Rural Affairs Climate Change and Environment Committee


Footnotes:

1 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1616.

2 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1616.

3 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1617.

4 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1645.

5 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1617.

6 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1617.

7 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Cols 1628-9.

8 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1619.

9 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1658.

10 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1618.

11 Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. Written Submission.

12 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Cols 1618-19.

13 Scottish Independent Advocacy Alliance. Written Submission.

14 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Cols 1619-20.

15 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Cols 1625.

16 Lothian Centre for Inclusive Living. Written Submission.

17 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1670.

18 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1671.

19 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1678.

20 Scottish Parliament Finance Committee. (2013) Budget report by the Adviser to the Finance Committee. Available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_FinanceCommittee/Final_Budget_Adviser_Report_Scotland_WEBUPDATED.pdf [Accessed 21 November 2013].

21 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1617.

22 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1617.

23 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1622.

24 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1636.

25 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1637.

26 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1638.

27 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1637.

28 Learning Disability Alliance Scotland. Care Charges Soar while the Council Tax is frozen. Article available at: http://www.ldascotland.org/index.php/stop-the-care-tax/64-care-charges-soar-while-the-council-tax-is-frozen [Accessed 21 November 2013].

29 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1638.

30 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1638.

31 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1638.

32 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1638.

33 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1639.

34 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Cols 1644-45.

35 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Cols 1666-7.

36 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1667.

37 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1667.

38 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1638.

39 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1646.

40 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1632.

41 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1632.

42 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1634.

43 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1625.

44 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1626.

45 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1627.

46 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Cols 1626-7.

47 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1628.

48 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1628.

49 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1630.

50 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1630.

51 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1630.

52 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1630.

53 Scottish Trades Union Congress (“STUC”). Written Submission.

54 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Cols 1636-7.

55 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Cols 1631-2.

56 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1633.

57 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1663.

58 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1664.

59 British and Irish Legal Information Institute. (2013) Stuart, Bracking and Others and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Available at: http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2013/1345.html&query=bracking&method=boolean [Accessed 21 November 2013].

60 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Cols 1635-6.

61 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1642.

62 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1642.

63 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1641.

64 East Ayrshire Council. Written Submission.

65 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1664.

66 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1664.

67 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1640.

68 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1640.

69 Equality and Human Rights Commission (“EHRC”). Written submission.

70 Inclusion Scotland. Written Submission.

71 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1640.

72 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1641.

73 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1665.

74 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1673.

75 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report 31 October 2013, Cols 1673-4.

76 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1674.

77 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1659.

78 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1621.

79 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1622.

80 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1624.

81 Inclusion Scotland. Written Submission.

82 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1659.

83 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1660.

84 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1661.

85 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1677.

86 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1620.

87 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1660.

88 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1663.

89 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1663.

90 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1663.

91 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1662.

92 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee, (2012) Report on the 2013/14 Draft Budget.

93 Equality and Human Rights Commission. (2013) Modern Apprenticeships, Equality & the Economy: Spreading The Benefits. Available at: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/Scotland/Research/modern_apprenticeships_final.pdf [Accessed 21 November 2011].

94 Shetland Island Council. Written Submission.

95 Orkney Islands Council. Written Submission.

96 Women's Employment Summit, 12 September 2012. Various reports available at: http://www.employabilityinscotland.com/key-clients/womens-employment/ [Accessed 21 November 2013].

97 STUC. Written Submission.

98 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1676.

99 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1677.

100 Aberdeenshire Council. Written Submission.

101 STUC. Written Submission.

102 Orkney Islands Council. Written Submission.

103 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1625.

104 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1677.

105 Correspondence to all Committees from the Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee. Available at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_RuralAffairsClimateChangeandEnvironmentCommittee/General%20Documents/Climate_change_budget_mainstreaming.pdf [Accessed 21 November 2013].

106 Joseph Rowntree Foundation. (2011) Climate Change, Justice and Vulnerability. Available at: http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/climate-change-justice-and-vulnerability [Accessed 21 November 2013].

107 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Cols 1674-5.

108 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1619.

109 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1619.

110 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1619.

111 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1647.

112 Orkney Islands Council. Written Submission.

113 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1668.

114 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1669.

115 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1623.

116 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Cols 1623-4.

117 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1623.

118 Margaret Follon, West Lothian College. Written Submission.

119 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 10 October 2013, Col 1618.

120 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 31 October 2013, Col 1669.

121 Scottish Parliament Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee. (2013) Report to the Finance Committee on the Draft Budget 2014-15.

122 Scottish Parliament Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee. (2013) Report to the Finance Committee on the Draft Budget 2014-15.

123 Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee. (2013) Report to the Finance Committee on the Draft Budget 2014-15.

124 Scottish Parliament Health and Sport Committee. (2013) Report to the Finance Committee on the Draft Budget 2014-15.

125 Scottish Parliament Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee. (2013) Report to the Finance Committee on the Draft Budget 2014-15.

126 Scottish Parliament Justice Committee. (2013) Report to the Finance Committee on the Draft Budget 2014-15.

127 Commission on Women Offenders. (2012) Report on improving outcomes for women offenders. Available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/About/Review/commissiononwomenoffenders/finalreport-2012

128 Scottish Parliament Local Government and Regeneration Committee. (2013) Report to the Finance Committee on the Draft Budget 2014-15.

129 Scottish Parliament Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee. (2013) Report to the Finance Committee on the Draft Budget 2014-15.

130 Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee. (2013) Report to the Finance Committee on the Draft Budget 2014-15.

131 Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. 4th Report, 2013 (Session 4). Women and Work.

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