Election 2021 issue brief: The employability landscape in Scotland

Given the 2021 Scottish Election just around the corner, this article focuses on the programmes and funds for employability that are part of Scottish Government policy. The article reviews the pre and post Smith Commission periods, the recent changes due to Covid-19, and what might be coming up next for employability policy.

Number of taxpayers subject to Scottish higher rate of tax set to top 550,000 in the next parliament

Our estimates show that if Scottish policy follows the rUK policy of freezing income tax thresholds the number of taxpayers subject to the Scottish higher rate and additional rate of tax will top 550,000 in the next parliament. If the Scottish Government chooses to increase thresholds in line with inflation, the median Scottish income taxpayer would pay around £195 less in tax in 2025/26. But the Scottish budget would be worse off in 2025/26 by over £700m.

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. 

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.