In Scotland, an independent advisory group, the Equality and Budget Advisory Group (EBAG), works together with the Scottish Government to:
* provide advice and support for the mainstreaming of equality in policy with the appropriate allocation of resources
* contribute to mapping the pathway between evidence, policy and spend
* improve the presentation of equality information in the Scottish budget documents
* contribute to improved commitment to and awareness of mainstreaming equality in to policy and budget processes
The advisory group is made up of government and civil society actors, such as the Women’s Budget Group, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Scottish Government Finance Directorate, and the Office of the Chief Economic Adviser.
The Scottish budgetary process involves the publication of a draft budget, which allows for public consultation and debate on the particulars of the budget before it is finalised. The publication of an “equality statement” alongside the draft budget clearly outlines the equality implications of the budget. The statement is arranged under key themes of the budget, such as “health and wellbeing”, “culture and external affairs”, and “finance, employment and sustainable growth”. Additionally, the statement provides an overview of the equality implications by “equality characteristic”, that is, by gender, age, disability, and other categories. Hence, it includes a detailed analysis of the impact of specific policy measures on women, on young people, on people with disabilities, and others, while providing a detailed view of the equality outcomes for members of the public.
In addition to this, the Scottish government has undertaken in-depth research on the effects of the economic crisis in a report entitled Coping with Change and Uncertainty: Scotland’s Equality Groups and the Recession (2010), and a further updated analysis in the report The Position of Scotland’s Equality Groups: Revisiting Resilience in 2011 (2011). Both reports and the Equality Statement on the draft budget are publicly available on the Scottish government’s website, as are the minutes of meetings held with EBAG.