Scottish Parliament Building

Understanding Social Security in Scotland: Working age disability and carer benefits

A range of new social security powers have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament in the last few years relating to disability and carer benefits. The 2021 election may see different parties talking about elements of these new benefits, and how they could be changed over the course of the next parliament. In this briefing, we set out the main benefits in Scotland that have been devolved and are relevant for working age adults with a disability and those who care for them.

Household incomes and the 2021 election

Household income is a key determinant of a household’s standard of living. Government policies can have a range of direct and indirect impacts on the amount of money households have to spend on goods and services. Hence, it becomes a big deal at election time, with lots of debate about winners and losers and who should and shouldn’t benefit. This briefing provides a guide to household incomes in Scotland to help navigate the debate. 

The economic backdrop to the Scottish election

The economy will no doubt feature in most debates regarding the election. Given the current situation, it is difficult to unpick exactly what is going on, and what may unravel once restrictions, and protections, are lifted in the autumn.

Scottish Parliament building

Election Podcast #1

In our first election podcast, Mairi Spowage, Emma Congreve, David Eiser and Stuart McIntyre reflect on the big themes likely to feature in this election and answer some of the questions asked by our webinar audience earlier this week that we didn’t have time to answer.

New research on multi-grade classes and pupil attainment

Over the past couple of years, researchers at the Fraser of Allander Institute have been working on a project to explore the effect of class size and composite (multi-grade) classes in Scottish primary schools on pupil attainment. Overall, we find some evidence that exposure to more experienced peers is beneficial to primary school pupils in terms of attainment. In this article we summarise some of our key findings from this analysis.

Commentary Perspectives: Mental health and wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic

The purpose of the research is to investigate how the COVID-19 pandemic impacts the mental health and wellbeing of the Scottish population. The aim is to understand the psychological impact of the pandemic on different demographic groups (gender, age, and employment status). The research also focuses on people who may be more vulnerable to the pandemic in multiple ways, namely those with long-term physical and mental health conditions and single-parent families.

Poverty and inequality: looking pre- and post- pandemic

Tomorrow we will see the latest statistics on income and poverty in Scotland and across the UK. Unfortunately, these statistics won’t be able to tell us about the impact of coronavirus on household incomes as the data will be for the 2019/20 financial year. However, the data will be important in helping us to understand whether poverty was falling pre-pandemic and what else will need to happen once the worst effects of the pandemic recede if we are to meet the ambitions set out in the Child Poverty (Scotland) Act.