As Scotland takes stock of the damage the COVID-19 pandemic has done to individuals, families, communities, businesses and the macroeconomy, more and more people are recognising that Scotland needs to do better than seeking to revive the ways of working of pre-COVID times. The causes of Scotland’s problems that predate COVID-19 have not disappeared and need to be attended to as Scotland builds its recovery.
One element of building a more just and sustainable economy and society, rather than returning to business as usual, is taking a bold and ambitious wellbeing approach to policymaking and associated government budgets. This report seeks to contribute to the debate about how the Scottish Government budget is conceived, crafted and deployed in order to improve the wellbeing and rights of Scotland’s children. It straddles several sets of issues: policies to address child poverty, efforts to improve child wellbeing, the implications (both human and fiscal) of getting it wrong and budget mechanisms as a juncture where change can be leveraged.