Letter to The Rt hon Dr John Reid, MP,
Secretary of State for Scotland, Scotland Office, from Jackie
Baillie MSP, Minister for Social Justice, Scottish Executive
SCOTTISH AFFAIRS COMMITTEE INQUIRY INTO POVERTY
Further to the Scottish Affairs Committee's Report
into Poverty in Scotland issued earlier this year, I thought you
would appreciate an indication of where the Scottish Executive
stands on those recommendations with a devolved dimension. I understand
that you are co-ordinating the UK Government's response to the
The Scottish Executive welcomed the Committee's inquiry
into poverty in Scotland and we were very pleased to assist the
Committee with its work. Tackling poverty is a challenging agenda
and one that will require dialogue and co-operation between the
UK Government and the Scottish Executive, as well as our respective
parliaments. As a result, we were pleased to be able to help with
the inquiry, not only to demonstrate the Scottish Executive's
commitment to tackling poverty, but also in the interests of highlighting
the goodwill and co-operation that exists between the Scottish
Executive, the Scottish Parliament and Westminster.
There has been a good deal of interest in the report
in the Scottish Parliament and a number of parliamentary questions
have been tabled, all asking where the Scottish Executive stood
in relation to particular recommendations. I have attached these
for your information at Annex B. I have also attached at Annex
A short commentaries on those recommendations upon which the Scottish
Executive can usefully comment.
Following Wendy Alexander's appearance before the
committee in March, the Scottish Executive's development of policy
tackling poverty and social exclusion in Scotland has continued.
Our recently announced spending plans set out how Social Justice
would sit at the heart of policies and programmes across the Scottish
Executive departments, ensuring that tackling poverty and disadvantage
is a priority in the design and delivery of our mainstream services.
We also published Scotland's first Social Justice
Annual Report on 13 November, setting out the progress we have
made on the milestones and indicators in last year's "Social
Justice: A Scotland where everyone matters." This
is an important document in the development of programmes and
policies tackling poverty and social exclusion in Scotland. Not
only does the new data set out in the report improve our understanding
of the dynamics of poverty in Scotland, but the report should
also prove to be a powerful tool for maintaining focus on delivering
real change for our most vulnerable communities. I enclose a copy
for your information.
I hope you find this helpful.
21 November 2000