A new report has recommended 20 Calls to Action to ensure Scotland tackles poverty and inequality as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Social Renewal Advisory Board was set up as a short-term group to come up with ideas on how to deliver real change while the country recovers from the virus.

The report focuses on three key principles:

Money and work

People and rights

Communities and collective endeavour

These are split into 20 Calls to Action, which are detailed in the report and will now be considered by the Scottish Government.

Read the full report here.

We want the rights detailed in this report to be available to all migrants including people with refugee status and people in the asylum system. However, this is not within the powers of the Scottish Government, but we urge them to do everything within their power to challenge, prevent and mitigate the impact of hostile Home Office policies

We also urge the UK Government to:

  • urgently review their ‘no recourse to public funds’ (NRPF) policy.
  • allow people to take on paid work while they are awaiting a decision on their asylum claim.

Sabir Zazai, CEO at Scottish Refugee Council:

“Covid-19 has exposed the deep inequality and exclusion which we know have existed in our society for a long time. But the crisis has also shown that we can get through seemingly insurmountable problems by coming together, even when we are forced apart.

“This report from the Social Renewal Board provides a blueprint for bold action to build a better Scotland as we all, including new Scots, emerge out of the pandemic. Nobody can be left behind.

“We strongly welcome all of the actions proposed. The Scottish Government must do everything in its power to ensure that these actions are inclusive of new Scots communities, and to challenge the Home Office’s continued marginalisation of those who have made Scotland their home.”

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said:

“This ambitious, forward-looking report is a challenge to be bold thinking about recovery, recognising the strong response to the pandemic which has taken place across Scotland with the collective efforts of local and national government, communities, organisations and individuals.

“The actions recommended build on work already established to tackle poverty and reduce inequality, taking a human-rights based approach. We look forward to considering them in an official government response to be published in due course.”

Image: Bayo Adegunloye, Unsplash

Chris Afuakwah
Author: Chris Afuakwah