HC Deb 22 January 1998 vol 304 c679W
Mr. Pond

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will carry out an assessment of the impact of his Department's current policies on the(a) income, (b) employment opportunities and (c) living standards, of the poorest 30 per cent. of the population. [23340]

Mr. Wilson

The Scottish Office recognises the need to assess the impact of its policies on all groups in the community.

A key factor in improving the income and living standards of the poorest 30 per cent. of the population will be the creation of better employment opportunities. The New Deal programmes for the young and long-term unemployed, for lone parents and for those with a disability or long-term illness are designed to help participants into real, lasting and worthwhile employment.

We shall shortly be issuing a consultation paper on social exclusion in Scotland to take views on current policies and practices and on options and priorities for the future. This consultation process will be followed by a "summit" to discuss the way forward. We have also established a "Social Exclusion Network" of senior officials to co-ordinate the efforts of Government departments and Agencies in Scotland.