Recovery strategy to help those hardest hit by Covid
The Covid Recovery Strategy sets out the Scottish Government's vision for recovery and the actions it will take to address systemic inequalities made worse by Covid, make progress towards a wellbeing economy, and accelerate inclusive person-centred public services.
The Scottish Government has said that people who have suffered the most as a result of the pandemic will be at the heart of Scotland’s Covid recovery strategy.
For a fairer future sets out the next steps in Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic, recognising, the government said, that while the pandemic has affected every area of life in Scotland, those who were already struggling have been hardest hit by its effects.
The strategy aims to address systemic inequalities made worse by Covid, improve people’s wellbeing, and remobilise public services to be more focused on people's needs, building on lessons learned during the pandemic.
Actions to achieve this will include upskilling and retraining opportunities for workers impacted by the pandemic and the transition to net zero, help for low income families most at risk of poverty, and locally-based mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people.
While the strategy is focused over the next 18 months, it includes a series of actions over the course of this parliament to deliver substantial improvements in child poverty, make significant progress towards net zero, and secure an economic recovery that is fair and green.
Deputy First Minister and Covid Recovery Secretary John Swinney said: “The impacts of this pandemic have not been felt evenly with the most disadvantaged suffering disproportionately from the virus, and the social and economic effects of lockdown restrictions.
“For that reason, our recovery must go further than how life was before Covid. This strategy sets out how we will do that, working with local government, the third sector, and businesses large and small.
“It is the product of months of engagement with a variety of individuals and organisations representing sectors across the country, including the Citizen’s Assembly and the Social Renewal Advisory Board.
“The experience of the past 18 months has shown us what can be achieved when we look past traditional barriers to get the right service or support to people when they need it.
“By working together with the same energy, imagination, and urgency as we approached the pandemic, we can drive a recovery that delivers more for all of Scotland.”
Peter Kelly, Director of the Poverty Alliance, said: “The levels of poverty and inequality in Scotland made the impact of the pandemic so much worse than it might otherwise have been. Insecure and undervalued employment, social security benefits that were inadequate and ingrained inequality all meant that some communities bore the brunt of Covid.
“As we look towards the end of the pandemic, it is right that the Scottish Government prioritises a recovery that addresses these underlying inequalities. Focusing on the creation of a wellbeing economy, tackling poverty and investment in social security, housing and decent public services is to be welcomed. Delivering on these priorities and retaining this focus on addressing inequalities must drive our recovery to Covid.”